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Defending Community: The Struggle for Alternative Redevelopment in Cedar-Riverside

Randy Stoecker

Publication Year: 1994

Published by: Temple University Press


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pp. vii

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pp. ix-xiii

"I JUST want you to put in your book that 'gee, we had fun,''' said Cedar-Riverside activist Tim Ogren when I told him of my plans to try to publish the story of Cedar-Riverside. I hope I have expressed in these pages just how much fun they had. Sometimes the fun was hard work, and sometimes it was even quite painful. But it was ultimately the fun of winning--of building a neighborhood and a community...


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pp. xv

Map of Cedar-Riverside

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pp. 2

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1. Capital, Community. and Cedar-Riverside: An Overview

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pp. 3-26

THERE we were, maybe a hundred of us, in the street clutching our gold-painted plastic spoons--our "groundbreaking shovels"--on a warm summer day in 1986. We were celebrating yet another redevelopment project beginning in our neighborhood. That we were celebrating at all was momentous. Twenty years ago no one...

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2. Capital Invades Cedar-Riverside

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pp. 27-48

THE URBAN redevelopment that mushroomed after World War II provides an extraordinary account of the destruction of urban communities, affordable housing, and community services. Blighted, poverty-stricken slums were targeted for grand schemes controlled by powerful central governments, institutions, and corporations. A...

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3. A New Community Forms Against the New Town

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pp. 49-72

By 1970, when the first community organization formed to oppose the New Town in Town, the national social movements that had sustained the new residents of Cedar-Rivers--the civil rights movement, student movement, and antiwar movement-had already peaked. As those movements waned, the people of Cedar...

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4. Building on Community: Organizing the Resistance

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pp. 73-97

THE NEIGHBORHOOD movement lost the first battle. But members now recognized that it was only the first battle. Their hopelessness and fatalism was replaced by outrage and the strength of a threatened community. The dedication ceremony uprising was not in vain. The residents had established a solid community base and felt...

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5. The Growth Coalition Falters [Includes Image Plates]

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pp. 99-140

LATE 1974 signaled the beginning of the end for the New Town in Town, Financial backers started pulling out, and City Hall began to review the Urban Renewal Plan. During one of the CREDF fundraising dinners, neighborhood activist Steve Parliament learned of the growing skepticism of the Minneapolis corporate elite when a member of that elite remarked that the "financial community in Minneapolis...

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6. Building the Foundation for Community-based Development

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pp. 141-169

THE STRUGGLE against the New Town in Town was over. A disorganized group of hippies believing everything was lost had become an organized group of activists believing anything was possible. The seemingly impenetrable growth coalition that was to level their neighborhood had been shattered, creating an urban redevelopment...

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7. The Struggle Within

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pp. 171-201

THE NEIGHBORHOOD surged into redevelopment into the mid-1980s. Its membership in the governing regime intensified beyond connections to council members to include neighborhood activists hired to work with the MCDA. By December 1983, even under the burden of PAC funding cuts, plans had crystallized for other...

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8. The Role of Community in Urban Insurgency

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pp. 203-227

THE PEOPLE of Cedar-Riverside discovered their power even as they watched the housing west of Cedar Avenue bulldozed to make way for the first stage of the New Town. For it was not just the power of creating democratic, community-based redevelopment, or even of stopping the remaining stages of the top-down, capitalconscious...

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9. The Limits and the Potential of Community Control of Urban Redevelopment

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pp. 229-255

Both inside and outside the neighborhood there are those who argue that Cedar-Riverside was not all that successful in providing a positive exception to the miserable record of urban renewal. They point, first, to the failure of the neighborhood to stop the construction of Cedar Square West. They also point to the continuing encroachment of the...

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10. The Legacy of Cedar-Riverside

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pp. 257-261

IN THE SUMMER of 1991, as the neighborhood redevelopment wound to a conclusion and I returned to Minneapolis to prepare this book, I visited those who had been most active in the movement to save and rebuild Cedar-Riverside. I asked them to reflect on what they thought they had accomplished, what they thought they had failed to accomplish, and what, if any, legacy they had left behind....

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Appendix: Interviewees and Interviews

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pp. 263-264

This list includes all interviewees who allowed their names or their quotations to be used. For various reasons, many others requested that their names or their words not appear in the book. The information provided by interviewees who did not want their names to be used was checked against other sources; information that could not be...


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pp. 265-272


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pp. 273-292

Bibliography of Newspapers and Newsletters

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pp. 293-295


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pp. 297-307

E-ISBN-13: 9781439904206

Publication Year: 1994