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The Hub's Metropolis

Greater Boston's Development From Railroad Suburbs to Smart Growth
O'Connell, James C. (Book - 2013 )
Average Rating: 5 stars out of 5.
The Hub's Metropolis

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Boston's metropolitan landscape has been two hundred years in the making. From itsproto-suburban village centers of 1800 to its far-flung, automobile-centric exurbs of today, Bostonhas been a national pacesetter for suburbanization. In The Hub's Metropolis ,James O'Connell charts the evolution of Boston's suburban development. The city of Boston is compactand consolidated -- famously, "the Hub." Greater Boston, however, stretches over 1,736square miles and ranks as the world's sixth largest metropolitan area. Boston suburbs began todevelop after 1820, when wealthy city dwellers built country estates that were just a short carriageride away from their homes in the city. Then, as transportation became more efficient andaffordable, the map of the suburbs expanded. The Metropolitan Park Commission's park-and-parkwaysystem, developed in the 1890s, created a template for suburbanization that represents the country'sfirst example of regional planning. O'Connell identifies nine layers of Boston's suburbandevelopment, each of which has left its imprint on the landscape: traditional villages; countryretreats; railroad suburbs; streetcar suburbs (the first electric streetcar boulevard, Beacon Streetin Brookline, was designed by Frederic Law Olmsted); parkway suburbs, which emphasized publicgreenspace but also encouraged commuting by automobile; mill towns, with housing for workers;upscale and middle-class suburbs accessible by outer-belt highways like Route 128; exurban,McMansion-dotted sprawl; and smart growth. Still a pacesetter, Greater Boston has pioneeredantisprawl initiatives that encourage compact, mixed-use development in existing neighborhoods nearrailroad and transit stations. O'Connell reminds us that these nine layers of suburbaninfrastructure are still woven into the fabric of the metropolis. Each chapter suggests sites tovisit, from Waltham country estates to Cambridge triple-deckers.
Authors: O'Connell, James C.
Title: The Hub's metropolis
greater Boston's development from railroad suburbs to smart growth
Publisher: Cambridge, Mass. :, MIT Press,, c2013
Characteristics: xii, 326 p. :,ill., maps ;,24 cm
Contents: Preface
Metropolitan Boston's layers of development
Prelude to suburbia : traditional village centers and proto-suburbs (1800-1860)
Country retreats (1820-1920)
Railroad suburbs (1840-1920)
Streetcar suburbs (1870-1930)
Metropolitan parkway suburbs (1895-1945)
Suburban mill towns (1820-2000)
Postwar automobile suburbs (1945-1970)
Boston redefines the center city (1945-2010)
Interstates, exurbs, and sprawl (1970-2010)
Smart growth era (1990-2010)
Postscript: the coming era
Bibliographical references
ISBN: 0262018756
Branch Call Number: HC108.B65 O26 2013
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