Public Housing Myths
Author: Nicholas Dagen Bloom, Fritz Umbach, Lawrence J. Vale
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Popular opinion holds that public housing is a failure; so what more needs to be said about seventy-five years of dashed hopes and destructive policies? Over the past decade, however, historians and social scientists have quietly exploded the common wisdom about public housing. Public Housing Myths pulls together these fresh perspectives and unexpected findings into a single volume to provide an updated, panoramic view of public housing. With eleven chapters by prominent scholars, the collection not only covers a groundbreaking range of public housing issues transnationally but also does so in a revisionist and provocative manner. With students in mind, Public Housing Myths is organized thematically around popular preconceptions and myths about the policies surrounding big city public housing, the places themselves, and the people who call them home. The authors challenge narratives of inevitable decline, architectural determinism, and rampant criminality that have shaped earlier accounts and still dominate public perception. Contributors: Nicholas Dagen Bloom, New York Institute of Technology; Yonah Freemark, Chicago Metropolitan Planning Council; Alexander Gerould, San Francisco State University; Joseph Heathcott, The New School; D. Bradford Hunt, Roosevelt University; Nancy Kwak, University of California, San Diego; Lisa Levenstein, University of North Carolina at Greensboro; Fritz Umbach, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY; Florian Urban, Glasgow School of Art; Lawrence J. Vale, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Rhonda Y. Williams, Case Western Reserve University
Public Housing That Worked
Author: Nicholas Dagen Bloom
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
When it comes to large-scale public housing in the United States, the consensus for the past decades has been to let the wrecking balls fly. The demolition of infamous projects, such as Pruitt-Igoe in St. Louis and the towers of Cabrini-Green in Chicago, represents to most Americans the fate of all public housing. Yet one notable exception to this national tragedy remains. The New York City Housing Authority, America's largest public housing manager, still maintains over 400,000 tenants in its vast and well-run high-rise projects. While by no means utopian, New York City's public housing remains an acceptable and affordable option. The story of New York's success where so many other housing authorities faltered has been ignored for too long. Public Housing That Worked shows how New York's administrators, beginning in the 1930s, developed a rigorous system of public housing management that weathered a variety of social and political challenges. A key element in the long-term viability of New York's public housing has been the constant search for better methods in fields such as tenant selection, policing, renovation, community affairs, and landscape design. Nicholas Dagen Bloom presents the achievements that contradict the common wisdom that public housing projects are inherently unmanageable. By focusing on what worked, rather than on the conventional history of failure and blame, Bloom provides useful models for addressing the current crisis in affordable urban housing. Public Housing That Worked is essential reading for practitioners and scholars in the areas of public policy, urban history, planning, criminal justice, affordable housing management, social work, and urban affairs.
New Deal Ruins
Author: Edward G. Goetz
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Public housing was an integral part of the New Deal, as the federal government funded public works to generate economic activity and offer material support to families made destitute by the Great Depression, and it remained a major element of urban policy in subsequent decades. As chronicled in New Deal Ruins, however, housing policy since the 1990s has turned to the demolition of public housing in favor of subsidized units in mixed-income communities and the use of tenant-based vouchers rather than direct housing subsidies. While these policies, articulated in the HOPE VI program begun in 1992, aimed to improve the social and economic conditions of urban residents, the results have been quite different. As Edward G. Goetz shows, hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced and there has been a loss of more than 250,000 permanently affordable residential units. Goetz offers a critical analysis of the nationwide effort to dismantle public housing by focusing on the impact of policy changes in three cities: Atlanta, Chicago, and New Orleans. Goetz shows how this transformation is related to pressures of gentrification and the enduring influence of race in American cities. African Americans have been disproportionately affected by this policy shift; it is the cities in which public housing is most closely identified with minorities that have been the most aggressive in removing units. Goetz convincingly refutes myths about the supposed failure of public housing. He offers an evidence-based argument for renewed investment in public housing to accompany housing choice initiatives as a model for innovative and equitable housing policy.
Purging the Poorest
Author: Lawrence J. Vale
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
The building and management of public housing is often seen as a signal failure of American public policy, but this is a vastly oversimplified view. In Purging the Poorest, Lawrence J. Vale offers a new narrative of the seventy-five-year struggle to house the “deserving poor.” In the 1930s, two iconic American cities, Atlanta and Chicago, demolished their slums and established some of this country’s first public housing. Six decades later, these same cities also led the way in clearing public housing itself. Vale’s groundbreaking history of these “twice-cleared” communities provides unprecedented detail about the development, decline, and redevelopment of two of America’s most famous housing projects: Chicago’s Cabrini-Green and Atlanta’s Techwood /Clark Howell Homes. Vale offers the novel concept of design politics to show how issues of architecture and urbanism are intimately bound up in thinking about policy. Drawing from extensive archival research and in-depth interviews, Vale recalibrates the larger cultural role of public housing, revalues the contributions of public housing residents, and reconsiders the role of design and designers.
Reclaiming Public Housing
Author: Lawrence J. Vale
Publisher: Harvard University Press
In Reclaiming Public Housing, Lawrence Vale explores the rise, fall, and redevelopment of three public housing projects in Boston. Vale looks at these projects from the perspectives of their low-income residents and assesses the contributions of the design professionals who helped to transform these once devastated places during the 1980s and 1990s. The three similarly designed projects were built at the same time under the same government program and experienced similar declines. Each received comparable funding for redevelopment, and each design team consisted of first-rate professionals who responded with similar "defensible space" redesign plans. Why, then, was one redevelopment effort a nationally touted success story, another only a mixed success, and the third a widely acknowledged failure? The book answers this key question by situating each effort in the context of specific neighborhood struggles. In each case, battles over race and poverty played out somewhat differently, yielding wildly different results. At a moment when local city officials throughout America are demolishing more than 100,000 units of low-income housing, this crucial book questions the conventional wisdom that all large public housing projects must be demolished and rebuilt as mixed-income neighborhoods.
Since its emergence in the mid-nineteenth century as the nation's "metropolis," New York has faced the most challenging housing problems of any American city, but it has also led the nation in innovation and reform. The horrors of the tenement were perfected in New York at the same time that the very rich were building palaces along Fifth Avenue; public housing for the poor originated in New York, as did government subsidies for middle-class housing. A standard in the field since its publication in 1992, A History of Housing in New York City traces New York's housing development from 1850 to the present in text and profuse illustrations. Richard Plunz explores the housing of all classes, with comparative discussion of the development of types ranging from the single-family house to the high-rise apartment tower. His analysis is placed within the context of the broader political and cultural development of New York City. This revised edition extends the scope of the book into the city's recent history, adding three decades to the study, covering the recent housing bubble crisis, the rebound and gentrification of the five boroughs, and the ecological issues facing the next generation of New Yorkers. More than 300 illustrations are integrated throughout the text, depicting housing plans, neighborhood changes, and city architecture over the past 130 years. This new edition also features a foreword by the distinguished urban historian Kenneth T. Jackson.
This book explains how public housing projects are not the only housing policy mistakes. Lesser known efforts are just as pernicious, working in concert to undermine sound neighborhoods and perpetuate a dependent underclass.
In 1973, President Nixon halted new construction of public housing, claiming that the U.S. government had become "the biggest slumlord in history." Four decades earlier, in the depths of the Great Depression, strong political support for federally-subsidized low-income housing had resulted in the Housing Act of 1937. By the 1950s, growing criticism of the housing constructed by local authorities and prejudice against poor residents--particularly African Americans--fueled opposition to new projects. This book documents the lively and wide-ranging national debate over public housing from the New Deal to Nixon.
This timely book provides a wealth of useful information for following through on today's renewed concern for sustainability and environmentalism. It's designed to help city managers, policy analysts, and government administrators think comprehensively and communicate effectively about environmental policy issues.The authors illustrate a system-based framework model of the city that provides a holistic view of environmental media (land, air, and water) while helping decision-makers to understand the extent to which environmental policy decisions are intertwined with the natural, built, and social systems of the city. They go on to introduce basic and environment-specific policy-analytic models, methods, and tools; presents numerous specific environmental policy puzzles that will confront cities; and introduces methods for understanding and educating public opinions around urban environmental policy.The book is grounded in the policy-analytic perspective rather than political science, economic, or planning frameworks. It includes both new scholarship and synthesis of existing policy analysis. Numerous tables, figures, checklists, and maps, as well as a comprehensive reference list are included.
Contemporary urban renewal is the subject of intense academic and policy debate regarding whether it promotes social mixing and spatial justice, or instead enhances neoliberal privatization and state-led gentrification. This book offers a cross-national perspective on contemporary urban renewal in relation to social rental housing.
It is now over 50 years since the term ‘gentrification’ was first coined by the British urbanist Ruth Glass in 1964, in which time gentrification studies has become a subject in its own right. This Handbook, the first ever in gentrification studies, is a critical and authoritative assessment of the field. Although the Handbook does not seek to rehearse the classic literature on gentrification from the 1970s to the 1990s in detail, it is referred to in the new assessments of the field gathered in this volume. The original chapters offer an important dialogue between existing theory and new conceptualisations of gentrification for new times and new places, in many cases offering novel empirical evidence.
Beautiful Terrible Ruins
Author: Dora Apel
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
Once the manufacturing powerhouse of the nation, Detroit has become emblematic of failing cities everywhere—the paradigmatic city of ruins—and the epicenter of an explosive growth in images of urban decay. In Beautiful Terrible Ruins, art historian Dora Apel explores a wide array of these images, ranging from photography, advertising, and television, to documentaries, video games, and zombie and disaster films. Apel shows how Detroit has become pivotal to an expanding network of ruin imagery, imagery ultimately driven by a pervasive and growing cultural pessimism, a loss of faith in progress, and a deepening fear that worse times are coming. The images of Detroit’s decay speak to the overarching anxieties of our era: increasing poverty, declining wages and social services, inadequate health care, unemployment, homelessness, and ecological disaster—in short, the failure of capitalism. Apel reveals how, through the aesthetic distancing of representation, the haunted beauty and fascination of ruin imagery, embodied by Detroit’s abandoned downtown skyscrapers, empty urban spaces, decaying factories, and derelict neighborhoods help us to cope with our fears. But Apel warns that these images, while pleasurable, have little explanatory power, lulling us into seeing Detroit’s deterioration as either inevitable or the city’s own fault, and absolving the real agents of decline—corporate disinvestment and globalization. Beautiful Terrible Ruins helps us understand the ways that the pleasure and the horror of urban decay hold us in thrall.
Social Policy and Social Justice provides today's students and tomorrow's practitioners with a comprehensive overview of U.S. social policy and the policymaking process. Author and editor Michael Reisch brings together experts in the field to help students understand these policies and prepare them for the emerging realities that will shape practice in the 21st century. This text explores the critical contextual components of social policy—including history, ideology, political-economy, and culture—and demonstrates major substantive areas of policy such as income maintenance and health/mental health.
Where We Want to Live
Author: Ryan Gravel
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
**Winner, Phillip D. Reed Award for Outstanding Writing on the Southern Environment** **A Planetizen Top Planning Book for 2017** After decades of sprawl, many American city and suburban residents struggle with issues related to traffic (and its accompanying challenges for our health and productivity), divided neighborhoods, and a non-walkable life. Urban designer Ryan Gravel makes a case for how we can change this. Cities have the capacity to create a healthier, more satisfying way of life by remodeling and augmenting their infrastructure in ways that connect neighborhoods and communities. Gravel came up with a way to do just that in his hometown with the Atlanta Beltline project. It connects 40 diverse Atlanta neighborhoods to city schools, shopping districts, and public parks, and has already seen a huge payoff in real estate development and local business revenue. Similar projects are in the works around the country, from the Los Angeles River Revitalization and the Buffalo Bayou in Houston to the Midtown Greenway in Minneapolis and the Underline in Miami. In Where We Want to Live, Gravel presents an exciting blueprint for revitalizing cities to make them places where we truly want to live.
Author: Robert D. Putnam
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
A New York Times bestseller and “a passionate, urgent” (The New Yorker) examination of the growing inequality gap from the bestselling author of Bowling Alone: why fewer Americans today have the opportunity for upward mobility. Central to the very idea of America is the principle that we are a nation of opportunity. But over the last quarter century we have seen a disturbing “opportunity gap” emerge. We Americans have always believed that those who have talent and try hard will succeed, but this central tenet of the American Dream seems no longer true or at the least, much less true than it was. In Our Kids, Robert Putnam offers a personal and authoritative look at this new American crisis, beginning with the example of his high school class of 1959 in Port Clinton, Ohio. The vast majority of those students went on to lives better than those of their parents. But their children and grandchildren have faced diminishing prospects. Putnam tells the tale of lessening opportunity through poignant life stories of rich, middle class, and poor kids from cities and suburbs across the country, brilliantly blended with the latest social-science research. “A truly masterful volume” (Financial Times), Our Kids provides a disturbing account of the American dream that is “thoughtful and persuasive” (The Economist). Our Kids offers a rare combination of individual testimony and rigorous evidence: “No one can finish this book and feel complacent about equal opportunity” (The New York Times Book Review).