Radical Atlas of Ferguson USA
Publication Date: August 6, 2024
Ferguson, Missouri, became the epicenter of America’s racial tensions after the 2014 murder of Michael Brown and the protests that followed in its wake. Though this suburb just outside St. Louis might have seemed like an average midwestern town, the activism that exploded there after Brown’s killing laid bare how longstanding municipal planning policies had led to racial segregation, fragmentation, poverty, and police targeting.
In over one hundred maps, Patty Heyda charts the systemic forces that have defined Ferguson, and the first-ring suburb in America more broadly. Through an in-depth look at the contradictions undergirding city planning and design, it illuminates how tax incentives, housing codes, urban design, policing, philanthropy, and even landscaping often work against the betterment of residents’ lives. At its heart lies a key question: Just who are our cities being built for?
A profound rethinking of what maps can be, Radical Atlas of Ferguson USA will challenge city planners, designers, and everyday citizens to change their perspective of public space.
ISBN: 9781953368751 | 8 X 10 | Paperback
"In this pathbreaking volume, Patty Heyda elaborates a brilliantly comprehensive spatial forensics of racial and class injustice in the contemporary neoliberal American city. Radical Atlas provides a systematic dissection of the multilayered processes of spatial dispossession, institutionalized disenfranchisement, inequality-by-design, neocolonial extractivism, and militarized violence that underpin life and death in poor communities of color in Ferguson, North St. Louis County and the metropolitan region of St. Louis. It will inspire scholars, cartographers, citizens, and activists to imagine—and to construct—alternative forms of urbanism in which public institutions actively support, protect, and sustain the conditions for social and spatial justice for all."
—Neil Brenner, Lucy Flower Professor of Urban Sociology at the University of Chicago, and author of New Urban Spaces: Urban Theory and the Scale Question
“This singular book makes it possible to see St. Louis and the Ferguson Uprising in a new way. Map by map, it both extends and deepens our account of the deep structures and emergent histories that framed both the murder of Michael Brown and the revolt that followed.”
—Walter Johnson, Winthrop Professor of History and professor of African and African American Studies at Harvard University, and author of The Broken Heart of America: St. Louis and the Violent History of the United States
“Patty Heyda brings Ferguson into sharper focus in Radical Atlas of Ferguson USA. In dozens of richly annotated maps, she makes a convincing case that first-ring suburbs are increasingly where tensions over space, capital, and justice come to a head.”
—Amanda Kolson Hurley, journalist and author of Radical Suburbs: Experimental Living on the Fringes of the American City
“I can’t think of a more wide-ranging, rigorous, and artfully produced portrait of how decades of discriminatory policy, planning, and real estate practices played out on a particular stage. Armed with an impressive array of data, Heyda uses exquisitely crafted maps to illustrate the causes, consequences, and persistence of uneven development. It’s hard not to walk away from this book and see how pervasively inequality is structured into the built environment. I will hold Radical Atlas up as a gold standard for spatial analysis, critical mapping, and visual storytelling.”
—Daniel D’Oca, Principal of Interboro Partners, associate professor in Practice, Harvard Graduate School of Design, coauthor of The Arsenal of Exclusion & Inclusion
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