An invisible evil holds American cities and suburbs in a deathgrip. Tying bureaucrats in administrative knots, grinding development projects, green initiatives, and housing plans to a halt, regularly ruining the average commuter’s morning, no problem is more American than the problem of parking. In Paved Paradise, journalist Henry Grabar provides an astonishing, fascinating ride through the history of parking across the American landscape, from New York to Disney World. As the U.S. faces a worsening housing crisis, and as green space disappears from urban centers, he asks: how has storing cars taken priority over human life? Join him in conversation with journalist Simon Kuper to learn how the vast American expanse has been taken captive by concrete.
About the speaker:
Henry Grabar is a staff writer at Slate who writes about housing, transportation, and urban policy. He has contributed to The Atlantic, Harper’s, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, and other publications, and was the editor of the book The Future of Transportation. He received the Richard Rogers Fellowship from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design and was a finalist for the Livingston Award for excellence in national reporting by journalists under thirty-five.
Simon Kuper was educated at Oxford University and Harvard. He has been working for the Financial Times since 1994, and now writes a general column for the newspaper. His recent books include The Happy Traitor, his biography of the double agent George Blake (2021) and Barça: The Rise and Fall of the Club that Invented Modern Football (2021), which won the Sunday Times award for Football Book of the Year. His Chums: How a Tiny Caste of Oxford Tories Took Over the UK, appeared in 2022 and became a Sunday Times bestseller.
Important information: The discussion will be available both online and in person. While the conversation will happen in person (Grabar will appear in the Reading Room), the Library will stream the conversation on Zoom for a live viewing experience. Both in-person and online attendees will be able to pose questions.
This event requires advance registration.
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