Rising housing costs put secure and decent housing in central urban neighborhoods in peril. How do civil society organizations (CSOs) effectively demand accountability from the state to address the needs of low-income residents? In her groundbreaking book, Democratizing Urban Development, Maureen Donaghy charts the constraints and potential opportunities facing these community organizations. She assesses the various strategies CSOs engage to influence officials and ensure access to affordable housing through policies, programs, and institutions.
Democratizing Urban Development presents efforts by CSOs in four cities across the hemispheric divide: Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Washington, DC, and Atlanta. Donaghy studies the impact and outcomes that ensue from these efforts, noting that CSOs must sometimes shift their own ideology or adapt to the political environment in which they operate to ensure access to housing and support the goals of an inclusive city.