By Mark Robbins

In American urban X, editor Mark Robbins, former dean of Syracuse University's university of structure, argues that leading edge and compelling structure can't in simple terms improve the way in which a urban is perceived, but in addition switch how it works. seeking to Syracuse, big apple, because the archetypal "American urban X," the booklet showcases tasks that display capability confident futures for submit commercial towns around the state. that includes renovations and ground-up constructions—ranging from landscapes to structures and infrastructure—at either residential and institutional scales, the winning contemporary paintings in Syracuse addresses sustainability, fabric and formal experimentation, and artistic use of house for evolving group wishes.

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The frag- 33 34 American City "X" mented edges between city and campus intersecting with highway infrastructure create zones of unclaimed and untended space. All the projects in this volume have been conceived within the past ten years, and many have been completed within that time, employing a variety of means. All required a strategic use of funds, as well as a careful selection of both site and architect. Some of these projects were done through traditional means of site acquisition, commissioning, and/or renovation.

That both could factor at the level of policy would have an impact on the shape of American cities and our view of them. The confluence of highway construction (which came relatively late to Syracuse) and urban renewal, with its “slum clearance,” 31 Aerial view of 1950s Syracuse with proposed community plaza. d. [c. 1958–59], p. 11 32 Syracuse Builds exhibition, 2007, The Warehouse, Syracuse American City "X" the flight of the most economically mobile and mostly white residents, and the loss of industrial and commercial bases, in the city and the region, combined to create a familiar condition in urban America.

The approach in Syracuse is incremental in part by necessity, because of the financial as well as jurisdictional challenges posed by a single massive redevelopment project. Syracuse University, as an economic force and as a draw for population, provides one of the anchors. In an era in which many local governments have been divested of professional expertise, the university has an increasing role to play and can be the interlocutor between private market interests and civic goals. It can influence longer-range thinking, beyond political agendas and immediate economic gain.

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