"It should be a pilgrimage for any architect or urbanist..." -- Metropolis Magazine
"...fascinating show..." -- The New Yorker

New York Times Coverage

Winner of the
Paul E. Buchanan Award Vernacular Architecture Forum
AASLH Leadership in History, Award of Merit American Association for State and Local History
CLHO Award of Merit CT League of History Organizations
CCAPA Media Award CT Chapter, American Planning Association

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List Price: $47.99
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272 pages
6 X 9
ISBN 9781878541017
Library of Congress PCN: 2014932107

Edited by Stephen Fan

Abigail A. Van Slyck, 2014 President of the Society of Architectural Historians
Aron Chang, Architect, Waggonner & Ball
Ellen Pader, Anthropologist, Regional Planning and Policy, UMass Amherst
Chloe Taft, American Studies, Yale University
Shane Keaney, Art Director, Column Five

Casino Sub-Urbanization: Casino Company Towns / China Towns

Learning from Los Chinos: Chinese Casino Workers and the Contested Domestic Landscape
SubUrban Urbanisms: Single/Multifamily Hybrid Housing
Chinatown Buses at a Steeltown Casino: Contested Local Spaces in a Global Risk Economy
Restructuring Immigrant Workers' Housing: When does Policy or Design Become Discriminatory?
Versailles, New Orleans: Building and Sustaining an Immigrant Community in the Urban Periphery


The dramatic expansion of the historically marginalized gaming industry has led to a proliferation of casinos in the American landscape. Casinos now draw concentrated flows of capital, goods, and people into the urban periphery throughout the country. In regions with existing Asian populations, these flows of casino patrons and workers have also brought recent Chinese immigrants into these sub-urban areas.

By framing the expansion of the gaming industry in terms of the unique types of urbanization that have emerged within existing sub-urban communities, SubUrbanisms explores the ways in which these casino company towns and china towns challenge the cultural assumptions, values, and norms rooted in the American suburban landscape. By documenting, interpreting, and speculating upon these urban transformations of the suburban fabric, SubUrbanisms provides alternative models to address the sustainabilities of American suburban living, as well as alternative understandings of hybrids, adaptive reuse, and informal, user-oriented, and bottom-up approaches to design.

Through case studies in Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Louisiana, SubUrbanisms addresses broader issues of assimilation, class, and race through the lens of architecture, landscape, and planning. With contributors representing fields ranging from anthropology to public policy, to urban and architectural history, this multidisciplinary study explores architecture and urbanism as it engages with social, political, and economic affairs of both local and national significance—from discriminatory housing policies to public space use and private property rights.

In sum, SubUrbanisms interprets how the everyday built environment and cultural landscape, embedded with particular cultural, financial, and aesthetic values, serve as contested media through which identities are constructed and social relationships negotiated. Understanding how we are spatially situated—from different global/local scales and different cultural perspectives—allows us to see how our lives are shaped by space and, in turn, empowers us to shape our lives.

American Studies / Anthropology / Architecture / Cultural Studies / Ethnic Studies / Geography / History / Planning / Public Policy / Sociology / Urban Studies