The Limits of the World of Tomorrow
This epilogue examines suburbanization as it was celebrated by the New York World’s Fair and as the major landscape transformation of postwar greater New York. The World of Tomorrow sold visitors a car-centric vision at odds with the regional connectivity and planned growth of regional planners and urban theorists like Lewis Mumford. Critics of the fair declared it eschewed regional planning and catered to existing patterns of white, middle-class suburbanization and thus perpetuated the city’s socioeconomic and spatial inequalities. It also looks ahead to post-World War II suburbanization on Long Island, during which elitist, sparsely settled estate enclaves gave way to subdivisions and sprawl. In surveying the postwar future of the mature regional metropolis, this epilogue considers how the friction between private and public interests and the countervailing impulses to centralize or decentralize government remained central to regional politics and regional growth. The rise of greater New York reveals how environment, residential and industrial decentralization, recreation, and public works tied the urban core and periphery together and gave shape to the region. It also reveals the geographic, socioeconomic, and political boundaries that continued to separate communities.
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