Integrating the Inner City: The Promise and Perils of Mixed-Income Public Housing Transformation

University of Chicago Press
Free sample

For many years Chicago’s looming large-scale housing projects defined the city, and their demolition and redevelopment—via the Chicago Housing Authority’s Plan for Transformation—has been perhaps the most startling change in the city’s urban landscape in the last twenty years. The Plan, which reflects a broader policy effort to remake public housing in cities across the country, seeks to deconcentrate poverty by transforming high-poverty public housing complexes into mixed-income developments and thereby integrating once-isolated public housing residents into the social and economic fabric of the city. But is the Plan an ambitious example of urban regeneration or a not-so-veiled effort at gentrification?

In the most thorough examination of mixed-income public housing redevelopment to date, Robert J. Chaskin and Mark L. Joseph draw on five years of field research, in-depth interviews, and volumes of data to demonstrate that while considerable progress has been made in transforming the complexes physically, the integrationist goals of the policy have not been met. They provide a highly textured investigation into what it takes to design, finance, build, and populate a mixed-income development, and they illuminate the many challenges and limitations of the policy as a solution to urban poverty. Timely and relevant, Chaskin and Joseph’s findings raise concerns about the increased privatization of housing for the poor while providing a wide range of recommendations for a better way forward.
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About the author

Robert J. Chaskin is professor and deputy dean at the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration and director of the University of Chicago Urban Network. He is the author or editor of several books, including, most recently, Youth Gangs and Community Intervention. Mark L. Joseph is associate professor in the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University and director of the National Initiative on Mixed-Income Communities. He is coauthor of Voices from the Field: Learning from Comprehensive Community Initiatives.
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Additional Information

Publisher
University of Chicago Press
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Published on
Nov 13, 2015
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Pages
344
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ISBN
9780226303901
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Language
English
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Genres
History / General
History / United States / 20th Century
History / United States / State & Local / Midwest (IA, IL, IN, KS, MI, MN, MO, ND, NE, OH, SD, WI)
Social Science / Ethnic Studies / African American Studies
Social Science / Sociology / Urban
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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On November 4, 2008, when president-elect Barack Obama celebrated his victory with more than one hundred thousand supporters in Chicago, everyone knew where to meet. Long considered the showplace and cultural center of Chicago, Grant Park has been the site of tragedy and tension, as well success and joy. In addition to serving as the staging grounds for Abraham Lincoln’s funeral procession through the city, the park has been the setting for civil rights protests and the 1968 Democratic National Convention demonstrations. The faithful attended the open-air mass of Pope John Paul II in Grant Park, and fans gathered there to cheer for the Chicago Bulls after their championship wins. The long park overlooking the beautiful waters of Lake Michigan has played an active part in Chicago and U. S. history. In 1836, only three years after Chicago was founded, Chicagoans set aside the first narrow shoreline as public ground and declared it “forever open, clear, and free. . . .” Chicago historian and author Dennis H. Cremin reveals that despite such intent, the transformation of Grant Park to the spectacular park it is more than 175 years later was a gradual process, at first fraught with a lack of funding and organization, and later challenged by erosion, the railroads, automobiles, and a continued battle between original intent and conceptions of progress. Throughout the book, Cremin shows that while Grant Park’s landscape and uses have changed throughout its rocky history, the public ground continues to serve “as a display case for the city and a calling card to visitors.” Amply illustrated with maps and images from throughout Chicago’s history, Grant Park shows readers how Chicago’s “front yard” developed into one of the finest urban parks in the country today.

2014 Illinois State Historical Society Book of the Year
In this classic book that records a moment in the history of urban planning, the architect and city planner Harvey H. Kaiser examines the city-building process from the time when a proposal for urban development is first conceived to the early stages of construction. To illuminate the factors that underlie acceptance or rejection of community development, Kaiser focuses on the proposals for three towns in upstate New York—Lysander (near Syracuse) and Gananda and Riverton (both near Rochester). These were brand-new developments and municipalities, and thus quite different from other trends of suburbanization that attached development onto existing municipalities. Step by step, he describes what happened in each of these communities during the presentation of the initial proposal, how parties interacted with each other, and how the climate of the community influenced the actions of the parties.Basing his work on hundreds of interviews, attendance at public meetings, and a review of many articles and documents, Kaiser shows that in each case the emergence of controversy and degree of acceptance was influenced by the developer’s leadership, the characteristics of the developer’s organization, and the method of presenting the proposal to the public. Kaiser brings to his comparative approach a background in the rough and tumble of day-to-day project management and the development of plans as well as their administration. First published in 1978, The Building of Cities remains an invaluable resource for developers, architects, public officials, and citizens involved in local government.
This book focuses on a gap in current social work practice theory: community change. Much work in this area of macro practice, particularly around "grassroots" community organizing, has a somewhat dated feel to it, is highly ideological in orientation, or suffers from superficiality, particularly in the area of theory and practical application. Set against the context of an often narrowly constructed "clinical" emphasis on practice education, coupled with social work's own current rendering of "scientific management," community practice often takes second or third billing in many professional curricula despite its deep roots in the overall field of social welfare.

Drawing on extensive case study data from three significant community-building initiatives, program data from numerous other community capacity-building efforts, key informant interviews, and an excellent literature review, Chaskin and his colleagues draw implications for crafting community change strategies as well as for creating and sustaining the organizational infrastructure necessary to support them. The authors bring to bear the perspectives of a variety of professional disciplines including sociology, urban planning, psychology, and social work.

Building Community Capacity takes a collaborative, interdisciplinary approach to a subject of wide and current concern: the role of neighborhood and community structures in the delivery of human services or, as the authors put it, "a place where programs and problems can be fitted together." Social work scholars and students of community practice seeking new conceptual frameworks and insights from research to inform novel community interventions will find much of value in Building Community Capacity.

Across the social welfare and human services fields, interest is growing in how to apply research to influence policy and practice; simultaneously, with globalization's advance, it is clearer than ever that an international perspective is vital in understanding how social, political, and institutional contexts affect research and dissemination practices. This volume, with contributions from an array of eminent researchers and practitioners, provides valuable insight into effective research practice and the factors involved in putting research findings to use. Leading with experience - narratives of six child welfare case studies from the UK, Ireland, Israel, South Africa, and the US - the book frames those cases in the context of relevant literatures to build up a cross-case analysis that distills lessons, throws enduring questions into relief, and lays a foundation for informing future practice. It mines the cross-national experience to develop perspective for a better understanding of the importance of different policy and cultural environments, while nonetheless emphasizing issues that are applicable across borders. The ground prepared by the case studies allows the volume to tease out themes and lessons, placing the empirical findings against relevant theoretical frameworks and developing guidelines for improving research practice in this arena. Researchers, policymakers, practitioners, and advocates concerned with promoting effective policy and practice will find this book a vital aid in understanding how to apply knowledge to the real world and bring about in ways that can inform and contribute to social change.
In The Devil in the White City, the smoke, romance, and mystery of the Gilded Age come alive as never before.

Two men, each handsome and unusually adept at his chosen work, embodied an element of the great dynamic that characterized America’s rush toward the twentieth century. The architect was Daniel Hudson Burnham, the fair’s brilliant director of works and the builder of many of the country’s most important structures, including the Flatiron Building in New York and Union Station in Washington, D.C. The murderer was Henry H. Holmes, a young doctor who, in a malign parody of the White City, built his “World’s Fair Hotel” just west of the fairgrounds—a torture palace complete with dissection table, gas chamber, and 3,000-degree crematorium.

Burnham overcame tremendous obstacles and tragedies as he organized the talents of Frederick Law Olmsted, Charles McKim, Louis Sullivan, and others to transform swampy Jackson Park into the White City, while Holmes used the attraction of the great fair and his own satanic charms to lure scores of young women to their deaths. What makes the story all the more chilling is that Holmes really lived, walking the grounds of that dream city by the lake.

The Devil in the White City draws the reader into a time of magic and majesty, made all the more appealing by a supporting cast of real-life characters, including Buffalo Bill, Theodore Dreiser, Susan B. Anthony, Thomas Edison, Archduke Francis Ferdinand, and others. Erik Larson’s gifts as a storyteller are magnificently displayed in this rich narrative of the master builder, the killer, and the great fair that obsessed them both.

To find out more about this book, go to http://www.DevilInTheWhiteCity.com.
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