The American City in A.D. 2025

What will our cities be in 25 years? The question calls up a caricature, a grotesque vision of ultimate ghettoization.

Read Time: 1 minute

July 25, 2000, 6:30 AM PDT

By Chris Steins @urbaninsight


The vision involves a permanent underclass of poor people, largely defined by race, in rotting urban enclaves with no public transportation worthy of the name. An affluent class lives far off in automobile suburbs, probably gated. A skyscrapered business center rises like a sterile Acropolis. Government is off in what it calls a "campus" somewhere. And all of it is spread out at regional scale, consuming enormous quantities of landscape, more like a small nation than the city as we have known it, and perhaps, like Miami today, with its own foreign policy. Vincent Scully is Sterling professor emeritus of the history of art at Yale University.

Thanks to Chris Steins

Friday, July 14, 2000 in The Brookings Institution

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