The editors and contributors to this volume are not willing to accept what is known as uneven development, where some cities win and some lose. They look at two practical consequences of urban growth: the change in residence patterns as neighborhoods gentrify, and the change in employment patterns, as factory workers lose jobs and white-collar workers gain jobs. The editors' goal is to highlight the alternatives to uneven development and to the growth ideology. They outline and advocate specific policies, including affordable housing, changes in taxation, and direct community participation in planning and zoning decisions.
Challenging Uneven Development begins with a rousing discussion of the pervasiveness of the community redevelopment ideology. The growth machine defines the language of the debate. The next group of chapters examine residence patterns--how communities have organized to fight gentrification, why residential integration is essential for good planning as well as morality, and what strategies can be used to achieve racial diversity. Another chapter emphasizes the role of lenders in regulating the flow of credit within communities. Disinvestment by credit providers causes decline, and opens the way for gentrification, which displaces local residents. The impact of taxes in stimulating the growth machine is also explained.
Later chapters move beyond gentrification issues to examine other problems of economic restructuring. They look at how blacks, Latinos, and women have been affected by the growth of service sector jobs. The final chapter serves as a strategic guide to those who wish to establish a progressive agenda for community-based economic development. The authors call for social change, not unimaginative reform.
The contributors to this volume are leaders or researchers from community organizations, civic groups, government agencies, and universities. In addition to the editors, they are Mel King, Teresa Cordova, Daniel Lauber, Jena Pogge, David Flax-Hatch, Arthur Lyons, Wendy Wintermute, Charles Hicklin, Jeffrey D. Reckinger, David Mosena, Charlotte Chun, Raymndo Flores, Luther Snow, Deborah Bennett, John Betancur, and Patricia Wright. They have presented "state-of-the-art" progressive policy solutions for urban problems.