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Subsidized Housing in Chicago
Chicago seems an ideal environment for public housing because of the city’s relatively young age among major cities and well-deserved reputation for technology, innovation, and architecture. Yet The Poorhouse: Subsidized Housing in Chicago shows that the city’s experience on the whole has been a negative one, raising serious questions about the nature of subsidized housing and whether we should have it and, if so, in what form.
Bowly, a native of the city, provides a detailed examination of subsidized housing in the nation’s third-largest city. Now in its second edition, The Poorhouse looks at the history of public housing and subsidized housing in Chicago from 1895 to the present day. Five new chapters that cover the decline and federal takeover of the Chicago Housing Authority, and its more recent “transformation,” which involved the demolition of the CHA family high-rise buildings and in some cases their replacement with low-risemixed income housing on the same sites. Fifty new photos supplement this edition.
Environmental Activism in South Los Angeles
In the late 1990s, when California's deregulation of the production and sale of electric power created massive energy shortages a group of environmental justice activists, largely high school students, blocked construction of a power plant in their working-class Mexican and Central American neighborhoods. Power Politics is a study of a grassroots campaign where longtime labor and environmental allies found themselves on opposite sides of a conflict pitting good jobs against good air. Karen Brodkin analyzes how those issues came to be opposed and unpacks the racial and class dynamics that shape Americans' grasp of labor and environmental issues.
Gang and Non-Gang Families in East Los Angeles
The Pico Gardens housing development in East Los Angeles has a high percentage of resident families with a history of persistent poverty, gang involvement, and crime. In some families, members of three generations have belonged to gangs. Many other Pico Gardens families, however, have managed to avoid the cycle of gang involvement. In this work, Vigil adds to the tradition of poverty research and elaborates on the association of family dynamics and gang membership. The main objective of his research was to discover what factors make some families more vulnerable to gang membership, and why gang resistance was evidenced in similarly situated non-gang-involved families. Providing rich, in-depth interviews and observations, Vigil examines the wide variations in income and social capital that exist among the ostensibly poor, mostly Mexican American residents. Vigil documents how families connect and interact with social agencies in greater East Los Angeles to help chart the routines and rhythms of the lives of public housing residents. He presents family life histories to augment and provide texture to the quantitative information. By studying life in Pico Gardens, Vigil feels we can better understand how human agency interacts with structural factors to produce the reality that families living in all public housing developments must contend with daily.
Universities and the Battle for Sustainable Urban Neighborhoods
Traditionally, institutions of higher education have been viewed as the gateway to a better future, despite the fact that so many of the neighborhoods surrounding them have been filled with hopelessness and despair. In Promise and Betrayal, the authors want nothing less than to start a revolution in higher education, calling on partnerships between “town and gown” to create sustainable urban neighborhoods. John I. Gilderbloom and R. L. Mullins Jr. detail how higher education institutions can play an important role in helping to revitalize our poor neighborhoods by forming partnerships with public, private, and nonprofit groups. They advocate leaving the “ivory tower” and supplying the community with expert knowledge as well as creative and technical resources.
Policing the Lives of Black and Latino Boys
Victor Rios grew up in the ghetto of Oakland, California in the 1980s and 90s. A former gang member and juvenile delinquent, Rios managed to escape the bleak outcome of many of his friends and earned a PhD at Berkeley and returned to his hometown to study how inner city young Latino and African American boys develop their sense of self in the midst of crime and intense policing. Punished examines the difficult lives of these young men, who now face punitive policies in their schools, communities, and a world where they are constantly policed and stigmatized.
Rios followed a group of forty delinquent Black and Latino boys for three years. These boys found themselves in a vicious cycle, caught in a spiral of punishment and incarceration as they were harassed, profiled, watched, and disciplined at young ages, even before they had committed any crimes, eventually leading many of them to fulfill the destiny expected of them. But beyond a fatalistic account of these marginalized young men, Rios finds that the very system that criminalizes them and limits their opportunities, sparks resistance and a raised consciousness that motivates some to transform their lives and become productive citizens. Ultimately, he argues that by understanding the lives of the young men who are criminalized and pipelined through the criminal justice system, we can begin to develop empathic solutions which support these young men in their development and to eliminate the culture of punishment that has become an overbearing part of their everyday lives.
Neighborhood Perspectives on University-Driven Revitalization in West Philadelphia
As college and university administrators expand and develop their urban campuses, they have also become developers—and primary drivers—of neighborhood change. But how do institutions contend with urban real estate needs, revitalization opportunities, and community outreach? And how do the residents benefit? Pushing Back the Gates provides a lively discussion of neighborhood-level perspectives of the dynamic changes brought about by institutions' urban planning efforts.
Harley Etienne outlines the rationale for university-driven development and neighborhood revitalization balanced by caution for the limitations of the model. He provides a summary of the University of Pennsylvania's West Philadelphia Initiatives and the challenges and successes of this unique plan. Etienne also examines the implementation of similar efforts at different universities around the country.
Pushing Back the Gates speaks to communities, university leaders, and urban developers who navigate the boundary between neighborhood revitalization through physical development and investments in incumbent populations and human capital.
Inner-City Kids Tell Their Stories through Photographs
Looking at their photo of railroad tracks, a group of preteen students in South Central Los Angeles see either "a way out of the ghetto," or a "dirty, bad environment." Such are the impressions expressed in the poignant "We Live in the Shadow": Inner-City Kids Tell Their Stories through Photographs.
In Elaine Bell Kaplan's perceptive book, at-risk youth were given five-dollar cameras to tell stories about their world. Their photos and stories show us their response to negative inner-city teen images. We follow them into their schools, and we hear about their creative coping strategies. While these kids see South Central as dangerous, they also see themselves as confident enough to not let the inner city take them down. They refuse to be labeled as "ghetto thugs," as outsiders sometimes do. These outsiders include police, teachers, and other groups representing the institutional voices governing their daily lives.
The kids in "We Live in the Shadow": Inner-City Kids Tell Their Stories through Photographs have developed a multilayered view of society. This impressive book gives voice to their resilience.
Your front door lock is broken and your landlord doesn’t give a damn. And someone gets in and rapes you. Jana Leo’s exploration of the public and private spaces in Rape New York merges the vulnerability of the city with that of the body itself. A text that touches on urban planning, gentrification, slumlords, as well as rape and its physical, emotional, and legal repercussions.
Memory and Space in a Postwar Arab City
Once the cosmopolitan center of the Middle East, Beirut was devastated by the civil war that ran from 1975 to 1991, which dislocated many residents, disrupted normal municipal functions, and destroyed the vibrant downtown district. The aftermath of the war was an unstable situation Sawalha considers “a postwar state of emergency,” even as the state strove to restore normalcy. This ethnography centers on various groups’ responses to Beirut’s large, privatized urban-renewal project that unfolded during this turbulent moment. At the core of the study is the theme of remembering space. The official process of rebuilding the city as a node in the global economy collided with local day-to-day concerns, and all arguments invariably inspired narratives of what happened before and during the war. Sawalha explains how Beirutis invoked their past experiences of specific sites to vie for the power to shape those sites in the future. Rather than focus on a single site, the ethnography crosses multiple urban sites and social groups, to survey varied groups with interests in particular spaces. The book contextualizes these spatial conflicts within the discourses of the city’s historical accounts and the much-debated concept of heritage, voiced in academic writing, politics, and journalism. In the afterword, Sawalha links these conflicts to the social and political crises of early twenty-first-century Beirut.
How Creative Programs Are Promoting Prosperity and Saving the Environment
Regional Planning for a Sustainable America is the first book to represent the great variety of today’s effective regional planning programs, analyzing dozens of regional initiatives across North America.
The American landscape is being transformed by poorly designed, sprawling development. This sprawl—and its wasteful resource use, traffic, and pollution—does not respect arbitrary political boundaries like city limits and state borders. Yet for most of the nation, the patterns of development and conservation are shaped by fragmented, parochial local governments and property developers focused on short-term economic gain. Regional planning provides a solution, a means to manage human impacts on a large geographic scale that better matches the natural and economic forces at work. By bringing together the expertise of forty-two practitioners and academics, this book provides a practical guide to the key strategies that regional planners are using to achieve truly sustainable growth.