Neglected Gems: Richard Wade and Lisa Tolbert

By Richard Harris Richard Wade. 1964. Slavery in the Cities. The South, 1820-1860. New York: Oxford University Press. Lisa Tolbert. 2017. Henry, a slave, v. State of Tennessee. The public and private space of slaves in a small town. In Clifton Ellis and Rebecca Ginsburg, eds., Slavery in the City. Architecture and Landscapes of Urban […]

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Justice in Movement 

By Genevieve Carpio When I hear the term “urban transit,” it conjures a flurry of images. My brain instantly turns to public forms of transportation. This includes your buses, metro lines, transit stops, maybe even bicycle share programs. If I sit on the term a bit longer, I start to think of abstract planners making […]

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Cityscape Number 6, April 21, 2020

Cityscape is The Metropole’s monthly shortcut to recent, forthcoming, or overlooked writing, exhibits and film. ­­­­­­  Recent Books Rotten Bodies: Class and Contagion in Eighteenth-Century Britain By Kevin Siena, Yale University Press, 2019 After the plague of 1666, it was the poor, allegedly weak and easily contaminated who were blamed for the epidemics that followed. […]

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Policing the Automobile: “Private” Transit in “Public” Spaces?

By Sarah A. Seo Is a mobile home more like an automobile or a house? This was the key question that the justices of the US Supreme Court had to determine in California v. Carney, a 1985 case about the warrantless search of a mobile home parked in a lot in downtown San Diego. An […]

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Renewing Logue’s Reputation?: A Review of Liz Cohen’s Saving America’s Cities

Lizabeth Cohen, Saving America’s Cities: Ed Logue and the Struggle to Renew Urban America in the Suburban Age (New York: Farrar, Straus, & Giroux, 2019) Reviewed by Bob Carey Lizabeth Cohen has given us a big, tasty book about urban renewal and the career—successes and failures—of urban planner Ed Logue. Logue had, for many, the […]

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Transit, Labor, and the Transition to Public Ownership in Oakland

By Jordan Patty Mass Transit After World War II In an era when labor expected generous wages and benefits, how could an urban bus company expect to operate at a profit, regularly raise pay, and pay franchise fees to municipalities when fewer people were riding the bus year after year? This was a question faced […]

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Where Do Bikes Belong? They Usually Don’t.

By Evan Friss The bicycle first appeared in American cities 201 years ago. Americans first began worrying about how bicycles would ruin their cities 201 years ago. In the intervening years, those fears have shifted but never disappeared. What’s so scary about these relatively simple, two-wheeled devices? What’s so scary about the people riding them? […]

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Political Broken Promises: Self-Serving Officials and Unrealistic Expectations in the History of the NYC Subway

By Philip Mark Plotch New York City’s subway system, once the best in the world, is now frequently unreliable, uncomfortable, and overcrowded (at least when the city is not experiencing a pandemic). One of the reasons for its sorry state is a series of uninformed and self-serving elected officials who have fostered false expectations about […]

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Member of the Week: George Aumoithe

George Aumoithe Princeton University Department of History and Shelby Cullom Davis Center for Historical Studies Describe your current research. What about it drew your interest?  My current research delves into the post-1970s history of federal, state, and local efforts to cut general in-patient beds in the United States, particularly in public facilities commonly referred to […]

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A Letter from the UHA About Our 2020 Conference

April 6, 2020 Urban History Association members and friends: I am so sorry to intrude on what is already a stressful time of online teaching, staying inside, and making sure we all stay healthy. I write because I have an important update to share: As a result of the uncertainly resulting from the coronavirus pandemic, […]

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