New Book by UEP Professor Justin B. Hollander, “An Ordinary City”

Hot off the press! Professor Hollander has a new book out this week– An Ordinary City: Planning for Growth and Decline in New Bedford, Massachusetts.

The book paints an intimate portrait of an overlooked kind of city that neither grows nor declines drastically. In fact, New Bedford, Massachusetts represents an entire category of cities that escape mainstream urban studies’ more customary attention to global cities (New York), booming cities (Atlanta), and shrinking cities (Flint). New Bedford-style ordinary cities are none of these, they neither grow nor decline drastically, but in their inconspicuousness, they account for a vast majority of all cities. Given the complexities of growth and decline, both temporarily and spatially, how does a city manage change and physically adapt to growth and decline? This book offers an answer through a detailed analysis of the politics, environment, planning strategies, and history of New Bedford. Click here for more information or to purchase the book.

Some preliminary reviews: 

“In this thoroughly researched, fluently written, and delightfully illustrated book, Justin Hollander provides a memorable account of the complex history of an ‘ordinary city’—New Bedford, Massachusetts. The term ‘ordinary’ should not mask or downplay the importance of New Bedford as a case study. Through the rich description of the case, Hollander succeeds in asking and answering some of the most important and eternal questions about urban growth and decline. Everyone interested in how cities grow, shrink, and thrive again would benefit from reading this book.” -Sonia A. Hirt, Dean, School of Architecture, Planning & Preservation, University of Maryland, College Park, USA

“This is an insightful tale of the urban slide from ‘whaling capital of the world’ to an ordinary New England legacy city… Praise for Justin Hollander’s take on New Bedford, MA—an extraordinary story of an ordinary city common throughout the American post-industrial North Atlantic and Great Lakes regions.” -Ivonne Audirac, Associate Professor, College of Architecture, Planning and Public Affairs, University of Texas-Arlington, USA, and Co-Chair, Shrinking Cities International Research Network