Downtowns are more than economic engines: they are repositories of knowledge and culture and generators of new ideas, technology, and ventures. If we are to have healthy downtowns, noted urban planner Alexander Garvin argues, we need to understand how and why some American downtowns never stopped thriving, some are in decline, while still others, including Lower Manhattan, are resurging. In The Heart of the City, Garvin proffers how to plan for a mix of housing, businesses, and attractions; improve mobility; manage services; and enhance the public realm to ensure urban vitality.
Alexander Garvin is a noted architect and urban planner. He is an adjunct professor of urban planning and management at Yale University. He heads a planning and design firm in New York City. He is written many books, including What Makes a Great City; The Planning Game: Lessons for Great Cities; Public Parks: The Key to Livable Communities; and The American City: What Works, What Doesn’t.