Formerly Urban: Projecting Rust Belt Futures

Julia Czerniak


Formerly Urban is a collection of essays grounded in the belief that design, in all its manifestations, must play a central role in the revitalisation of shrinking cities. Originally a two-day conference on the benefits of creating urbanity in weak-market cities, the Formerly Urban conference gathered twenty-one international experts in architecture, landscape architecture and urban design and planning, policy, finance, economics and real estate development. Participants shared strategies for cities whose urban character has devolved radically due to economic, demographic and physical change; cities that are now considered “formerly urban.” This book advances speculation about remaking shrinking cities in America’s Rust Belt, underscoring the centrality of design and innovation in their revitalisation. The edited volume consists of nine scholarly essays from experts in architecture, planning, landscape architecture and urbanism, as well as seven case studies of Rust Belt cities with original analytic drawings. The essays examine the ways in which cities produce vibrant urban life in the context of diffuse urban fabrics; they explore strategies of education, shrinkage, consolidation and land-banking and the impact they have from the neighborhood to the regional scale; they revisit the potentials of landscape urbanism to imagine, catalyse, build upon and maintain vast amounts of emerging land; they speculate on the expanded ecological and civic roles that infrastructure can play in the city; and they probe financing structures for innovative development in weak market cities.

Creator Bio

Julia Czerniak is a registered landscape architect and founder and principal, with Mark Linder, of Clear; a trans-disciplinary collaborative between architects and others that aspire to both strengthen its disciplinary identity and to expand its range of operations. Educated as an architect and landscape architect, her research and practice focus on the intersection of these disciplines. Czerniak is editor of two books, Large Parks (Princeton Architectural Press, 2007) and Case: Downsview Park Toronto (Prestel and Harvard Design School, 2001), which focus on contemporary design approaches to public parks. Essays include “Fertilizer: Eisenman Olin” (Institute for Contemporary Art, 2006); “Landscape Urbanism,” Charles Waldheim, ed. (Princeton Architectural Press, 2006); “Assemblage 34” (MIT Press, 1998) and “Harvard Design Review.” Czerniak has exhibited at the Architectural League, the Storefront for Art and Architecture, the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies, Van Alen Institute, Castle Gallery, Galleria Frau, and Gallery Joe. She lectures widely.

Price £18.99
Format Hardback
Publication Date 1 November 2012
Pages 256
Height 236mm
Width 188mm
Illustrations 80 black and white images
ISBN-13 9781616890896