Sep 29 2014

Isenberg Downtown America

Published by at 7:49 am under Reflection Blog

In the final chapters of Alison Isenberg’s “Downtown America”, the focus is shifted from describing the rise and importance of downtown spaces to document their changing landscape today. As she sees downtown spaces as a microcosm of US culture– a place of commercial, social and cultural influence– the shift away from that type of space in the modern United States saddens her. Isenberg takes time to talk about the rise of African-American owned retail spaces in downtown areas and the implications of that image and then addresses the fact that suburban areas and corporate box stores such as Wal-Mart or Target have a negative impact on downtown areas. Can mom and pop shops survive with the advent of such large corporations? Especially in a shifting economy, many people have to choose the more affordable large corporate stores. Overall, this section was quite interesting and definitely made me happy that the city I go to school in has such a nice downtown space!

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