Degree Year

2013

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Art

Keywords

Urban, Urbanism, Postindustrial, Pittsburgh, Community, Pennsylvania, Socioeconomic

Abstract

The first part will explain the concept of community in the context of postindustrial theory. I will analyze the narrative of postindustrialism to argue that this concept of community constitutes not a reaction to a unique set of historical circumstances but rather a strategical shift in capitalist development. In the second part, I will describe how the perceived failure of architectural modemism inspired the theorization of the city as a phenomenological entity. I will describe how this conception of the city inspired efforts to systematize urban diversity through the development of a visual linguistics. The urban planning movement known as New Urbanism, I will argue, developed a successful systematization of diversity through an appeal to communitarian sentiment. The final part will discuss how the economic elite of Pittsburgh utilized postindustrial ideology to enact long-desired changes in the region's socioeconomic structure. Through an examination of commercial development and urban renewal in the late twentieth century, I will argue that New Urbanism provided a means of realizing the predictions of postindustrial theory and thus the directives of local economic interests. I aim to dispel the misconception that Pittsburgh and other industrial centers became postindustrial purely through economic inevitability or "natural" social development; my analysis will illustrate how the economic elite of these cities initiated this transition through an ideological and architectural campaign centered around the postindustrial concept of community.

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