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The Just City 1st Edition

4.8 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0801446559
ISBN-10: 0801446554
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Editorial Reviews


"Susan Fainstein's book is the result of some 20 years of intense research and thinking on the subject of the 'just city,' and it seems likely to me to become something of a classic. . . . Fainstein's slightly deadpan style serves only to make her accounts more compelling. A recent history of planning in London, written with equality, democracy and diversity in mind, is really useful as a teaching tool. Here the Docklands development, Coin Street and the 2012 Olympics are placed under scrutiny, with the last of those three, perhaps not surprisingly, receiving poor marks on the grounds of equity not least because the 'huge expenditure involved took away resources from other parts of London and the country more widely without providing them any benefits beyond the glory of hosting the Games.' . . . She notes that there are two possible responses to the injustices illustrated by the book. The first is to recognize the impossibility of achieving even small amounts of justice within the dominant system of global capitalism. The second, which is one that Fainstein herself adheres to, is that much can be achieved through incremental change. The book's final chapter is therefore devoted to a discussion of policies that are conducive to social justice in cities. Her vision is of a world where market forces no longer dominate decisions about city planning and justice drives the world of policy."― Flora Samuel, Times Higher Education Supplement, 18 November 2010

"The just city is one in which equity, democracy, and diversity are important considerations. This is in contrast with the city as growth machine. Fainstein examines three cities: New York, London, and Amsterdam. She provides a history of post–World War II planning and then focuses on fairly recent cases of development in each. Her goals, though modest, are important if growing inequality in urban areas is to be reversed. Recommended."―Choice

"[Fainstein's] work deepens, enriches, and extends deliberative planning theory in complementary rather than antagonistic ways. Like the idea of justice itself, The Just City is not the last word concluding a debate. More important, it is a trenchant, penetrating, and reasoned contribution to precisely that discursive and contested, but necessary and fruitful deliberative process that fuels the hope for progress toward realization of the just city."―Sarah J. Peterson, Journal of Planning Education and Research (September 2014)

"In this book, Susan Fainstein draws together her conceptual work over the past twenty years on the just city and her empirical work on urban development projects in major Western cities. Her commitment to social justice shines through this work, and she provides a challenging approach to evaluating urban development projects from this perspective. The result is a valuable and stimulating contribution to planning theory and to the evaluation of urban policy."―Patsy Healey, Newcastle University

"The Just City provides a much-needed review of a set of issues that bedevil planners and scholars, issues often framed as plan vs. market, equity vs. efficiency, or participation vs. power. Susan S. Fainstein's formulation and working through of justice and its three components of democracy, diversity, and equity are very helpful."―William W. Goldsmith, Cornell University

About the Author

Susan S. Fainstein is Professor of Urban Planning in the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University. She is the author of The City Builders and coauthor of Restructuring the City and Urban Political Movements.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Cornell University Press; 1 edition (July 22, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801446554
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801446559
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.4 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #990,460 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
She really dives into the subject of justice and equity. This is a subject that's often talked about in the urban planning world of Portland, OR, but seldom do people really know what it means. This book was extremely clarifying and written in a way that is easy to understand and not written like a doctoral thesis. She starts with a philosophical discussion about what defines justice and, then, comes up with three criteria: democracy, equity, and diversity. In the three middle chapters she uses the examples of New York City, London, and Amsterdam as examples and analyzes each on the grounds of justice. She finishes the book with simple guidelines for planning a just city. Fantastic book!
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Format: Paperback
Professor Fainstein's interview on "The Just City" ran as the Rorotoko Cover Feature on February 16, 2011 and can be read in the Rorotoko archive).
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By J on March 26, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great Book. Good balance between theory and empirical evidence.
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