"American urban form--the spaces, places, and boundaries that define city life--has been evolving since the first settlements of colonial days. The changing patterns of houses, buildings, streets, parks, pipes and wires, wharves, railroads, highways, and airports reflect changing patterns of the social, political, and economic processes that shape the city. In this book, Sam Bass Warner and Andrew Whittemore map more than three hundred years of the American city through the evolution of urban form. They do this by offering an illustrated history of "the City"--A hypothetical city that exemplifies the American city's transformation from village to merchant seaport, industrial city, multicentered metropolis, and, finally, regional metropolis that participates in both the local and the global. The book thereby offers a yardstick against which readers can measure the history of their own cities. Warner and Whittemore have constructed their hypothetical City from the histories of Boston, Philadelphia, and New York, focusing on commonalities that make up key patterns in American urban development. In an engaging text accompanied by Whittemore's detailed, meticulous drawings, they chart the City's changing boundaries, densities, building styles, transportation infrastructures, and population patterns. Planning for the future of cities, they remind us, requires an understanding of the forces that shaped the city's past; these are the tools of urban change. The city's protean, ever-changing nature offers each generation a fresh chance to reform (and re-form) it."--Jacket.