Apocalypse Town. Tales from the end of urban civilization
The story of urban lands and populations which are inventing new lifestyles in environments where what has disappeared – perhaps forever – is contemporary metropolitan society as we know it.
In the heart of America there are cities on the verge of disappearance: a new landscape which, in the rustbelt that extends from the Midwest and reaches as far as the Northeastern part of the country, has become a common sight.
With their abandoned factories and suburban shops, destroyed by fires and the racial revolts of the 1960s and 1970s, these cities were deserted by over half of their inhabitants, who left behind rubble and impoverished populations, locked in a daily struggle for survival in an increasingly hostile environment. This is a journey that stretches from the urban prairies of Youngstown, where the municipal administration has by now been reduced to zealously planning the city’s self-destruction, to the recycling industry and the Buffalo deconstruction, where visionary activists are dutifully and lovingly dismantling what remains of the city; from the food deserts of Detroit and Philadelphia, where shops and supermarkets have disappeared and the inhabitants have organized themselves with ingenious agricultural enterprises, to cities like New York that are focusing on urban agriculture, to build more sustainable cities thanks to their perfect natural metabolism.
Alessandro Coppola describes the lands and populations of an America we do not know, stories of people who are inventing new ways of living, because in those areas there are many who “believe that finding themselves at the margins of the major flows of the global economy is no longer a problem to be resolved, but the great opportunity that must not be wasted.”