Goldsmith Publishes Saving Our Cities

Goldsmith Cover Image

The cover of Bill Goldsmith's new book, Saving Our Cities, A Progressive Plan to Transform Urban America (Cornell University Press, 2016).

News
September 13, 2016

"When I arrived at Cornell in 1963," says Bill Goldsmith, CRP emeritus professor, "I wanted to learn how planners could help cities defend themselves. I had come from San Francisco and Berkeley, where the California Division of Highways seemed bent on destroying what was best about cities." His new book, Saving Our Cities, A Progressive Plan to Transform Urban America (Cornell University Press, 2016), suggests how.

Saving Our Cities shows how the United States has been in the habit of abusing cities and poor suburbs, then blaming them for society's ills. The book takes issue with federal and state budgets and regulations that line up with the interests of giant corporations and privileged citizens to impose austerity, shortchange public schools, make it hard to get nutritious food, and fight the drug war in unlucky neighborhoods.

But frustration is spreading, Goldsmith argues, so that progressive politicians in many cities have proposed far-reaching improvements, supported by advocacy groups and voting blocs. Saving Our Cities suggests how cities can forcefully demand enlightened federal and state action on inequality, schools, food, and the drug war, which will offer space for traditional urban planning as well, in order to meet residents' needs for improved housing, better transportation, and enhanced public spaces.

Goldsmith's 1992 book, Separate Societies (second edition 2010), received the Paul Davidofff Award for Best Book on Social Equality from the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning.