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The City Builders is a compelling examination of the forces that created the property boom of the eighties and the bust of the nineties. The book investigates the mentalities of the real-estate developers, financial institutions, and public officials who first poured enormous resources into physical redevelopment then suddenly saw the market collapse.
Focusing on London and New York, the author analyzes two cities which staked their hopes for economic prosperity on property-led development. The study proceeds through a discussion of real-estate markets and the strategies of different actors within them. It then chronicles six cases of redevelopment in detail telling the story of Olympia and York, which triumphed in constructing New York's World Financial Center and then plummeted into bankruptcy at Canary Warf in London.
Professor Fainstein concludes by entering the debate concerning the impacts of theme park development on the urban fabric, and recommends a set of realistic strategies for simultaneously redeveloping cities and improving the lives of their residents.
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