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African Theatre for Development
Edited by Kamal Salhi
Intellect Books, 1998
African Theatre for Development acts as a forum for investigating how African Theatre works and what its place is in this postmodern society. It provides the subject with a degree of detail unmatched in previous books, reflecting a new approach to the study of the performing arts in this region. The collection:

• reveals the dynamic position of the arts and culture in post-independent countries as well as changes in influences and audiences,
• shows African theatre to be about aesthetics and rituals, the sociological and the political, the anthropological and the historical,
• examines theatre's role as a performing art throughout the continent, representing ethnic identities and defining intercultural relationships,
• investigates African theatre's capacity to combine contemporary cultural issues into the whole artistic fabric of performing arts, and
• considers the variety of voices, forms and practices through which contemporary African intellectual circles are negotiating the forces of tradition and modernity.

The book provides an opportunity to discover contemporary material from experts, critics and artists from across the world. The contributions are in a language and style that allow them to be read either as aids to formal study or as elements of discussion to interest the general reader.
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After Redlining
The Urban Reinvestment Movement in the Era of Financial Deregulation
Rebecca K. Marchiel
University of Chicago Press, 2020
Focusing on Chicago's West Side, After Redlining illuminates how urban activists were able to change banks’ behavior to support investment in communities that they had once abandoned.

American banks, to their eternal discredit, long played a key role in disenfranchising nonwhite urbanites and, through redlining, blighting the very city neighborhoods that needed the most investment. Banks long showed little compunction in aiding and abetting blockbusting, discrimination, and outright theft from nonwhites. They denied funds to entire neighborhoods or actively exploited them, to the benefit of suburban whites—an economic white flight to sharpen the pain caused by the demographic one.

And yet, the dynamic between banks and urban communities was not static, and positive urban development, supported by banks, became possible. In After Redlining, Rebecca K. Marchiel illuminates how, exactly, urban activists were able to change some banks’ behavior to support investment in communities that they had once abandoned. The leading activists arose in an area hit hard by banks’ discriminatory actions and politics: Chicago’s West Side. A multiracial coalition of low- and moderate-income city residents, this Saul Alinsky–inspired group championed urban reinvestment. And amazingly, it worked: their efforts inspired national action, culminating in the federal Home Mortgage Disclosure Act and the Community Reinvestment Act.

While the battle for urban equity goes on, After Redlining provides a blueprint of hope.
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Architecture for the Poor
An Experiment in Rural Egypt
Hassan Fathy
University of Chicago Press, 1973
Architecture for the Poor describes Hassan Fathy's plan for building the village of New Gourna, near Luxor, Egypt, without the use of more modern and expensive materials such as steel and concrete. Using mud bricks, the native technique that Fathy learned in Nubia, and such traditional Egyptian architectural designs as enclosed courtyards and vaulted roofing, Fathy worked with the villagers to tailor his designs to their needs. He taught them how to work with the bricks, supervised the erection of the buildings, and encouraged the revival of such ancient crafts as claustra (lattice designs in the mudwork) to adorn the buildings.
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Arthur Morgan
A Progressive Vision for American Reform
Aaron D. Purcell
University of Tennessee Press, 2014
On May 19, 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt announced the appointment of Arthur Morgan (1878–1975), a water-control engineer and college president from Ohio, as the chairman of the newly created Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). With the eyes of the nation focused on the reform and recovery promised by the New Deal, Morgan remained in the national spotlight for much of the 1930s, as his visionary plans for the TVA drew both support and criticism. In this thoughtful biography, Aaron D. Purcell re-assesses Morgan’s long life and career and provides the first detailed account of his post-TVA activities and fascination with utopian writer Edward Bellamy. As Purcell demonstrates, Morgan embraced an alternative type of Progressive Era reform throughout his life which was rooted in nineteenth-century socialism, an overlooked, but important, strain in American political thought.
            Purcell pinpoints Morgan’s reading of Edward Bellamy’s Looking Backward while a teenager as a watershed moment in the development of his vision for building modern American society. He recounts Morgan’s early successes as an engineer, budding Progressive leader, and educational reformer; his presidency of Antioch College; and his revolutionary but contentious tenure at the TVA. After his dismissal from the TVA, Morgan wrote extensively, eventually publishing over a dozen books, including a biography of Edward Bellamy, and countless articles. He also raised money to support an experimental community in Kerala, India, sharing Mahatma Gandhi’s belief in small, self-sustaining communities cooperatively supported by persons of strong moral character. At the same time, however, Morgan retained many of his late-nineteenth century beliefs, including eugenics, as part of his societal vision. His authoritarian administrative style and moral rigidity limited his ability to attract large numbers to his community-based vision.
            As Purcell demonstrates, Morgan remained an active reformer well into the second half of the twentieth century, carrying forward a vision for American reform decades after his Progressive Era contemporaries had faded into obscurity. By presenting Morgan’s life and career within the context of the larger social and cultural events of his day, this revealing biographical study offers new insight into the achievements and motivations of an important but historically neglected American reformer.
 
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Balancing Nature and Commerce in Gateway Communities
Jim Howe, Ed McMahon, and Luther Propst; Sonoran/Rincon Institutes
Island Press, 1997

Increasing numbers of Americans are fleeing cities and suburbs for the small towns and open spaces that surround national and state parks, wildlife refuges, historic sites, and other public lands. With their scenic beauty and high quality of life, these "gateway communities" have become a magnet for those looking to escape the congestion and fast tempo of contemporary American society.

Yet without savvy planning, gateway communities could easily meet the same fate as the suburban communities that were the promised land of an earlier generation. This volume can help prevent that from happening.

The authors offer practical and proven lessons on how residents of gateway communities can protect their community's identity while stimulating a healthy economy and safeguarding nearby natural and historic resources. They describe economic development strategies, land-use planning processes, and conservation tools that communities from all over the country have found effective. Each strategy or process is explained with specific examples, and numerous profiles and case studies clearly demonstrate how different communities have coped with the challenges of growth and development. Among the cities profiled are Boulder, Colorado; Townsend and Pittman Center Tennessee; Gettysburg, Pennsylvania; Tyrrell County, North Carolina; Jackson Hole, Wyoming; Sanibel Island, Florida; Calvert County, Maryland; Tuscon, Arizona; and Mount Desert Island, Maine.

Balancing Nature and Commerce in Gateway Communities provides important lessons in how to preserve the character and integrity of communities and landscapes without sacrificing local economic well-being. It is an important resource for planners, developers, local officials, and concerned citizens working to retain the high quality of life and natural beauty of these cities and towns.

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Bargaining for Brooklyn
Community Organizations in the Entrepreneurial City
Nicole P. Marwell
University of Chicago Press, 2007
When middle-class residents fled American cities in the 1960s and 1970s, government services and investment capital left too. Countless urban neighborhoods thus entered phases of precipitous decline, prompting the creation of community-based organizations that sought to bring direly needed resources back to the inner city. Today there are tens of thousands of these CBOs—private nonprofit groups that work diligently within tight budgets to give assistance and opportunity to our most vulnerable citizens by providing services such as housing, child care, and legal aid.

Through ethnographic fieldwork at eight CBOs in the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Williamsburg and Bushwick, Nicole P. Marwell discovered that the complex and contentious relationships these groups form with larger economic and political institutions outside the neighborhood have a huge and unexamined impact on the lives of the poor. Most studies of urban poverty focus on individuals or families, but Bargaining for Brooklyn widens the lens, examining the organizations whose actions and decisions collectively drive urban life.
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Believing in Cleveland
Managing Decline in “The Best Location in the Nation”
J. Mark Souther
Temple University Press, 2017

Detractors have called it "The Mistake on the Lake." It was once America’s "Comeback City." According to author J. Mark Souther, Cleveland has long sought to defeat its perceived civic malaise. Believing in Cleveland chronicles how city leaders used imagery and rhetoric to combat and, at times, accommodate urban and economic decline.

Souther explores Cleveland's downtown revitalization efforts, its neighborhood renewal and restoration projects, and its fight against deindustrialization. He shows how the city reshaped its image when it was bolstered by sports team victories. But Cleveland was not always on the upswing. Souther places the city's history in the postwar context when the city and metropolitan area were divided by uneven growth. In the 1970s, the city-suburb division was wider than ever.

Believing in Cleveland recounts the long, difficult history of a city that entered the postwar period as America's sixth largest, then lost ground during a period of robust national growth. But rather than tell a tale of decline, Souther provides a fascinating story of resilience for what some folks called "The Best Location in the Nation."

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Beyond Preservation
Using Public History to Revitalize Inner Cities
Authored by Andrew Hurley
Temple University Press, 2010

Across the United States, historic preservation has become a catalyst for urban regeneration. Entrepreneurs, urban pioneers, and veteran city dwellers have refurbished thousands of dilapidated properties and put them to productive use as shops, restaurants, nightclubs, museums, and private residences. As a result, inner-cities, once disparaged as zones of poverty, crime, and decay have been re-branded as historic districts. Although these preservation initiatives, often supported by government tax incentives and rigid architectural controls, deserve credit for bringing people back to the city, raising property values, and generating tourist revenue, they have been less successful in creating stable and harmonious communities.

Beyond Preservation proposes a framework for stabilizing and strengthening inner-city neighborhoods through the public interpretation of historic landscapes. Its central argument is that inner-city communities can best turn preserved landscapes into assets by subjecting them to public interpretation at the grass-roots.  Based on an examination of successful projects in St. Louis, Missouri and other U.S. cities, Andrew Hurley demonstrates how rigorous historical analysis can help communities articulate a local identity and plan intelligently on the basis of existing cultural and social assets.    

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Bodies in Crisis
Culture, Violence, and Women's Resistance in Neoliberal Argentina
Sutton, Barbara
Rutgers University Press, 2010
Born and raised in Argentina and still maintaining significant ties to the area, Barbara Sutton examines the complex, and often hidden, bodily worlds of diverse women in that country during a period of profound social upheaval. Based primarily on women's experiential narratives and set against the backdrop of a severe economic crisis and intensified social movement activism post-2001, Bodies in Crisis illuminates how multiple forms of injustice converge in and are contested through women's bodies. Sutton reveals the bodily scars of neoliberal globalization; women's negotiation of cultural norms of femininity and beauty; experiences with clandestine, illegal, and unsafe abortions; exposure to and resistance against interpersonal and structural violence; and the role of bodies as tools and vehicles of political action.

Through the lens of women's body consciousness in a Global South country, and drawing on multifaceted stories and a politically embedded approach, Bodies in Crisis suggests that social policy, economic systems, cultural ideologies, and political resistance are ultimately fleshly matters.
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Casa Pueblo
A Puerto Rican Model of Self-Governance
Alexis Massol González, Translated by Ashwin Ravikumar and Paul Schroeder Rodríguez
Lever Press, 2022
As a community-based organization in the mountains of south-central Puerto Rico, Casa Pueblo implements alternatives to extractive capitalism that do not rely on governments or distant non-profits. In this book, Alexis Massol-González, Casa Pueblo’s founder, reflects on its extraordinary forty-year history of experiments with community self-governance. Massol-González received the prestigious Goldman Prize (popularly known as the Green Nobel) for the organization’s initiatives to protect the environment, affirm cultural and human values, and create sustainable economic alternatives. This collective translation was undertaken in the spirit of the organization and offers a chronological account of Casa Pueblo’s evolution from a small group of concerned citizens to an internationally recognized model for activism.
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Challenging Uneven Development
An Urban Agenda for the 1990s
Nyden, Philip
Rutgers University Press, 1991

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.

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Children and the Communities
Paul Henderson
Pluto Press, 1995

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Citizenship and Governance in a Changing City
Somerville, MA
Susan Ostrander
Temple University Press, 2013
Overcoming a past of deteriorating homes, empty storefronts, and corrupt city administrations, Somerville, Massachusetts, just outside of Boston, today proudly defines itself as a longtime immigrant city, a historically blue collar town, and a hip new urban center with a progressive city government.

In Citizenship and Governance in a Changing City, Susan Ostrander shows how beneath current high levels of engagement by Somerville residents lies a struggle about who should be the city's elected leaders and how they should conduct the city's affairs. It is a struggle waged between diverse residents--relatively new immigrants and a new middle class-trying to gain a foothold in democratic participation, and the city's political "old guard." 

Citizenship and Governance in a Changing City informs current debates about the place of immigrants in civic and political life, and the role of voluntary associations in local politics and government. In the process, Ostrander provides useful lessons for many midsize urban communities.
 
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Civic Agriculture
Reconnecting Farm, Food, and Community
Thomas A. Lyson
University Press of New England, 2004
While the American agricultural and food systems follow a decades-old path of industrialization and globalization, a counter trend has appeared toward localizing some agricultural and food production. Thomas A. Lyson, a scholar-practitioner in the field of community-based food systems, calls this rebirth of locally based agriculture and food production civic agriculture because these activities are tightly linked to a community’s social and economic development. Civic agriculture embraces innovative ways to produce, process, and distribute food, and it represents a sustainable alternative to the socially, economically, and environmentally destructive practices associated with conventional large-scale agriculture. Farmers’ markets, community gardens, and community-supported agriculture are all forms of civic agriculture. Lyson describes how, in the course of a hundred years, a small-scale, diversified system of farming became an industrialized system of production and also how this industrialized system has gone global. He argues that farming in the United States was modernized by employing the same techniques and strategies that transformed the manufacturing sector from a system of craft production to one of mass production. Viewing agriculture as just another industrial sector led to transformations in both the production and the processing of food. As small farmers and food processors were forced to expand, merge with larger operations, or go out of business, they became increasingly disconnected from the surrounding communities. Lyson enumerates the shortcomings of the current agriculture and food systems as they relate to social, economic, and environmental sustainability. He then introduces the concept of community problem solving and offers empirical evidence and concrete examples to show that a re-localization of the food production system is underway.
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Civic Intimacies
Black Queer Improvisations on Citizenship
Niels van Doorn
Temple University Press, 2019

Black queer lives often exist outside conventional civic institutions and therefore have to explore alternative intimacies to experience a sense of belonging. Civic Intimacies examines how—and to what extent—these different forms of intimacy catalyze the values, aspirations, and collective flourishing of Black queer denizens of Baltimore. Niels van Doorn draws on 18 months of immersive ethnographic fieldwork for his innovative cross-disciplinary analysis of contemporary debates in political and cultural theory. 

Van Doorn describes the way that these systematically marginalized communities improvise on citizenship not just to survive but also to thrive despite the proliferation of violence and insecurity in their lives. By reimagining citizenship as the everyday reparative work of building support structures, Civic Intimacies highlights the extent to which sex, kinship, memory, religious faith, and sexual health are rooted in collective practices that are deeply political. These systems sustain the lives of Black queer Baltimoreans who find themselves stuck in a city they cannot give up on—even though it has in many ways given up on them.

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Colonias in Arizona and New Mexico
Border Poverty and Community Development Solutions
Adrian X. Esparza and Angela J. Donelson
University of Arizona Press, 2008
There are approximately half a million people living in 227 officially designated colonias in southern Arizona and New Mexico. These border communities are characterized by poor-quality housing, a lack of infrastructure (paved roads, water and sewer systems, and electricity), high levels of poverty and unemployment, and a disproportionate concentration of Hispanics. These colonias comprise one of the country’s largest pockets of poverty. Even so, little is known about these towns or the people who live in them. This book provides the first comprehensive treatment of Arizona and New Mexico colonias, with the aim of increasing their visibility and promoting community development.

Beginning with an examination of the origins of border region settlement and the emergence of colonias in southern Arizona and New Mexico in the late 1800s, the book then turns to an assessment of current social, economic, and housing conditions. The authors also examine how Mexico’s recent economic crises and U.S. immigration and border security policies have shaped the quality of life in colonias, and they evaluate recent community development initiatives. By examining the challenges and successes of these recent efforts, the authors are able to provide a generalized plan for community development. Balancing analyses of these communities with a review of the positive steps taken to improve the quality of life of their inhabitants, Colonias in Arizona and New Mexico is an indispensable tool for anyone interested in public policy or immigration issues.
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Coming of Political Age
American Schools and the Civic Development of Immigrant Youth
Rebecca M. Callahan
Russell Sage Foundation, 2013
As one of the fastest-growing segments of the American population, the children of immigrants are poised to reshape the country’s political future. The massive rallies for immigration rights in 2006 and the recent push for the DREAM Act, both heavily supported by immigrant youth, signal the growing political potential of this crucial group. While many studies have explored the political participation of immigrant adults, we know comparatively little about what influences civic participation among the children of immigrants. Coming of Political Age persuasively argues that schools play a central role in integrating immigrant youth into the political system. The volume shows that the choices we make now in our educational system will have major consequences for the country’s civic health as the children of immigrants grow and mature as citizens. Coming of Political Age draws from an impressive range of data, including two large surveys of adolescents in high schools and interviews with teachers and students, to provide an insightful analysis of trends in youth participation in politics. Although the children of both immigrant and native-born parents register and vote at similar rates, the factors associated with this likelihood are very different. While parental educational levels largely explain voting behavior among children of native-born parents, this volume demonstrates that immigrant children’s own education, in particular their exposure to social studies, strongly predicts their future political participation. Learning more about civic society and putting effort into these classes may encourage an interest in politics, suggesting that the high school civics curriculum remains highly relevant in an increasingly disconnected society. Interestingly, although their schooling predicts whether children of immigrants will vote, how they identify politically depends more on family and community influences. As budget cuts force school administrators to realign academic priorities, this volume argues that any cutback to social science programs may effectively curtail the political and civic engagement of the next generation of voters. While much of the literature on immigrant assimilation focuses on family and community, Coming of Political Age argues that schools—and social science courses in particular—may be central to preparing the leaders of tomorrow. The insights and conclusions presented in this volume are essential to understand how we can encourage more participation in civic action and improve the functioning of our political system.
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Community Builders
Gordana Rabrenovic
Temple University Press, 1996
In the 1980s the failure of corporate strategies and trickle-down economics led to gross inequalities among many U.S. neighborhoods and cities. By examining and comparing a gentrifying and a low-income neighborhood in two medium-sized cities, Gordana Rabrenovic shows how the problems they faced are typical of a number of neighborhoods nationwide. In particular, Rabrenovic focuses on the relationship between neighborhood associations and urban restructuring, arguing persuasively that the success of neighborhood associations depends more on the city in which the neighborhood is located than on the neighborhood itself. Her tale discusses two very different cities with distinct political economies: Albany, a healthy service sector city, and Schenectady, a declining manufacturing city. Acknowledging both the value and limits of collective action, Rabrenovic addresses issues of particular relevance in urban areas, such as land use and crime, as well as the need for neighborhood organizations to forge links with local elites and other neighborhoods, and to engage and bring together poor and minority residents. Her analysis of neighborhood-based mobilization, preservation, and revitalization illuminates the ways in which grassroots issues intersect with prevailing political agendas and the national economy, as well as how issues such as race and class affect daily community politics.
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Community Character
Principles for Design and Planning
Lane H. Kendig with Bret C. Keast
Island Press, 2010
Community Character provides a design-oriented system for planning and zoning communities but accounts for how people who participate in a community live, work, and shop there. The relationships that Lane Kendig defines here reflect the complexity of the interaction of the built environment with its social and economic uses, taking into account the diverse desires of municipalities and citizens. Among the many classifications for a community’s “character” are its relationship to other communities, its size and the resulting social and economic characteristics.
 
According to Kendig, most comprehensive plans and zoning regulations are based entirely on density and land use, neither of which effectively or consistently measures character or quality of development. As Kendig shows, there is a wide range of measures that define character and these vary with the type of character a community desires to create. Taking a much more comprehensive view, this book offers “community character” as a real-world framework for planning for communities of all kinds and sizes.
 
A companion book, A Practical Guide to Planning with Community Character, provides a detailed explanation of applying community character in a comprehensive plan, with chapters on designing urban, sub-urban, and rural character types, using character in comprehensive plans, and strategies for addressing characteristic challenges of planning and zoning in the 21st century.
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The Community Economic Development Movement
Law, Business, and the New Social Policy
William H. Simon
Duke University Press, 2001
While traditional welfare efforts have waned, a new style of social policy implementation has emerged dramatically in recent decades. The new style is reflected in a panoply of Community Economic Development (ced) initiatives—efforts led by locally-based organizations to develop housing, jobs, and business opportunities in low-income neighborhoods.
In this book William H. Simon provides the first comprehensive examination of the evolution of Community Economic Development, complete with an analysis of its operating premises and strategies. He describes the profusion of new institutional forms that have arisen from the movement, amalgamations that cut across conventional distinctions—such as those between private and public—and that encompass the efforts of nonprofits, cooperatives, churches, business corporations, and public agencies. Combining local political mobilization with entrepreneurial initiative and electoral accountability with market competition, this phenomenon has catalyzed new forms of property rights designed to motivate investment and civic participation while curbing the dangers of speculation and middle-class flight.
With its examination of many localities and its appraisal of the strengths and weaknesses of the prevailing approach to Community Economic Development, this book will be a valuable resource for local housing, job, and business development officials; community activists; and students of law, business, and social policy.
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Community Organizing and Community Building for Health and Social Equity, 4th edition
Meredith Minkler and Patricia Wakimoto
Rutgers University Press, 2022
The fourth edition of Community Organizing and Community Building for Health and Social Equity provides both classic and recent contributions to the field, with a special accent on how these approaches can contribute to health and social equity. The 23 chapters offer conceptual frameworks, skill- building and case studies in areas like coalition building, organizing by and with women of color, community assessment, and the power of the arts, the Internet, social media, and policy and media advocacy in such work. The use of participatory evaluation and strategies and tips on fundraising for community organizing also are presented, as are the ethical challenges that can arise in this work, and helpful tools for anticipating and addressing them. Also included are study questions for use in the classroom. 
 
Many of the book’s contributors are leaders in their academic fields, from public health and social work, to community psychology and urban and regional planning, and to social and political science. One author was the 44th president of the United States, himself a former community organizer in Chicago, who reflects on his earlier vocation and its importance. Other contributors are inspiring community leaders whose work on-the-ground and in partnership with us “outsiders” highlights both the power of collaboration, and the cultural humility and other skills required to do it well. 

Throughout this book, and particularly in the case studies and examples shared, the role of context is critical, and never far from view. Included here most recently are the horrific and continuing toll of the COVID-19 pandemic, and a long overdue, yet still greatly circumscribed, “national reckoning with systemic racism,” in the aftermath of the brutal police killing of yet another unarmed Black person, and then another and another, seemingly without  end. In many chapters, the authors highlight different facets of the Black Lives Matter movement that  took on new life across the country and the world in response to these atrocities.  In other chapters, the existential threat of climate change and grave threats to democracy also are underscored.

View the Table of Contents and introductory text for the supplementary instructor resources. (https://d3tto5i5w9ogdd.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/04143046/9781978832176_optimized_sampler.pdf)

Supplementary instructor resources are available on request: https://www.rutgersuniversitypress.org/communityorganizing
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Community Organizing and Community Building for Health and Welfare
Edited by Meredith Minkler
Rutgers University Press, 2012

The third edition of Community Organizing and Community Building for Health and Welfare provides new and more established ways to approach community building and organizing, from collaborating with communities on assessment and issue selection to using the power of coalition building, media advocacy, and social media to enhance the effectiveness of such work.

With a strong emphasis on cultural relevance and humility, this collection offers a wealth of case studies in areas ranging from childhood obesity to immigrant worker rights to health care reform. A "tool kit" of appendixes includes guidelines for assessing coalition effectiveness, exercises for critical reflection on our own power and privilege, and training tools such as "policy bingo." From former organizer and now President Barack Obama to academics and professionals in the fields of public health, social work, urban planning, and community psychology, the book offers a comprehensive vision and on-the-ground examples of the many ways community building and organizing can help us address some of the most intractable health and social problems of our times.

Dr. Minkler's course syllabus: Although Dr. Minkler has changed the order of some chapters in the syllabus to accommodate guest speakers and help students prep for the midterm assignment she uses, she arranged the actual book layout in a way that should flow quite naturally if instructors wish to use it in the order in which chapters appear.
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The Community Resilience Reader
Essential Resources for an Era of Upheaval
Edited by Daniel Lerch
Island Press, 2017
The sustainability challenges of yesterday have become today’s resilience crises. National and global efforts have failed to stop climate change, transition from fossil fuels, and reduce inequality. We must now confront these and other increasingly complex problems by building resilience at the community level. But what does that mean in practice, and how can it be done in a way that’s effective and equitable?

The Community Resilience Reader offers a new vision for creating resilience, through essays by leaders in such varied fields as science, policy, community building, and urban design. The Community Resilience Reader combines a fresh look at the challenges humanity faces in the 21st century, the essential tools of resilience science, and the wisdom of activists, scholars, and analysts working with community issues on the ground. It shows that resilience is a process, not a goal; how resilience requires learning to adapt but also preparing to transform; and that resilience starts and ends with the people living in a community. Despite the formidable challenges we face, The Community Resilience Reader shows that building strength and resilience at the community level is not only crucial, but possible.

From Post Carbon Institute, the producers of the award-winning The Post Carbon Reader, The Community Resilience Reader is a valuable resource for students, community leaders, and concerned citizens.
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The Concepts, Process and Methods of Social Impact Assessment
Rabel Burdge
University Press of Colorado, 2015

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Contesting Community
The Limits and Potential of Local Organizing
DeFilippis, James
Rutgers University Press, 2010
What do community organizations and organizers do, and what should they do? For the past thirty years politicians, academics, advocates, and activists have heralded community as a site and strategy for social change. In contrast, Contesting Community paints a more critical picture of community work which, according to the authors--in both theory and practice--has amounted to less than the sum of its parts. Their comparative study of efforts in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada describes and analyzes the limits and potential of this work.

Covering dozens of groups, including ACORN, Brooklyn's Fifth Avenue Committee, and the Immigrant Workers Centre in Montreal, and discussing alternative models, this book is at once historical and contemporary, global and local. Contesting Community addresses one of the vital issues of our day--the role and meaning of community in people's lives and in the larger political economy.
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Defending Community
The Struggle for Alternative Redevelopment in Cedar-Riverside
Randy Stoecker
Temple University Press, 1994

Randy Stoecker's intimate biography of Cedar-Riverside, nationally known for a period as "the Haight-Ashbury of the Mid-West," contains important lessons about the conflicts between the needs of capitalism and the needs of community. While attending graduate school at the University of Minnesota, the author moved to Cedar-Riverside, a Minneapolis neighborhood known for its determination to enact values of peace, justice, wholeness, participation, and community in its truest sense. There he experienced first-hand the clashes between a radical community and state-backed urban developers.

His narrative tells the story of a community that overcame the odds against its own survival. Slated for total demolition, the neighborhood was saved by a powerful grass-roots movement. Citizens stopped a state-capital coalition from entombing the community in concrete and went on to create one of the largest community controlled urban redevelopment projects in the country After more than twenty years of struggle, Cedar-Riverside continues to experience citizen-controlled urban redevelopment on its own terms, setting an example for other communities, urban planners, and policymakers.


In the series Conflicts in Urban and Regional Development, edited by John R. Logan and Todd Swanstrom.
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Democracy's Lot
Rhetoric, Publics, and the Places of Invention
Candice Rai
University of Alabama Press, 2016
Traces the communication strategies of various constituencies in a Chicago neighborhood, offering insights into the challenges that beset diverse urban populations and demonstrating persuasively rhetoric’s power to illuminate and resolve charged conflicts

Candice Rai’s Democracy’s Lot is an incisive exploration of the limitations and possibilities of democratic discourse for resolving conflicts in urban communities. Rai roots her study of democratic politics and publics in a range of urban case studies focused on public art, community policing, and urban development. These studies examine the issues that erupted within an ethnically and economically diverse Chicago neighborhood over conflicting visions for a vacant lot called Wilson Yard. Tracing how residents with disparate agendas organized factions and deployed language, symbols, and other rhetorical devices in the struggle over Wilson Yard’s redevelopment and other contested public spaces, Rai demonstrates that rhetoric is not solely a tool of elite communicators, but rather a framework for understanding the agile communication strategies that are improvised in the rough-and-tumble work of democratic life.
 
Wilson Yard, a lot eight blocks north of Wrigley Field in Chicago’s gentrifying Uptown neighborhood, is a diverse enclave of residents enlivened by recent immigrants from Guatemala, Mexico, Vietnam, Ethiopia, and elsewhere. The neighborhood’s North Broadway Street witnesses a daily multilingual hubbub of people from a wide spectrum of income levels, religions, sexual identifications, and interest groups. When a fire left the lot vacant, this divided community projected on Wilson Yard disparate and conflicting aspirations, the resolution of which not only determined the fate of this particular urban space, but also revealed the lot of democracy itself as a process of complex problem-solving. Rai’s detailed study of one block in an iconic American city brings into vivid focus the remarkable challenges that beset democratic urban populations anywhere on the globe—and how rhetoric supplies a framework to understand and resolve those challenges.
 
Based on exhaustive field work, Rai uses rhetorical ethnography to study competing publics, citizenship, and rhetoric in action, exploring “rhetorical invention,” the discovery or development by individuals of the resources or methods of engaging with and persuading others. She builds a case for democratic processes and behaviors based not on reflexive idealism but rather on the hard work and practice of democracy, which must address apathy, passion, conflict, and ambivalence.
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Digital Community Engagement
Partnering Communities with the Academy
Edited by Rebecca Wingo, Jason Heppler, and Paul Schadewald
University of Cincinnati Press, 2020
How have university scholars across a variety of disciplines navigated the co-creative and collaborative relationships involving community partners? How has the addition of digital components changed the way information can be communicated to the intended audience? Through digital projects, traditional academic silos have given way to community-based partnerships which open research, storytelling, and curation to wide array of contributors from civic engagement professionals, librarians, archivists, technology personnel, local citizens, and academics. The collaborative process may push your comfort zone and make you grapple with your roll of storytelling but as the authors of the last chapter say, “You can’t make ketchup without smashing a few tomatoes.”

Digital projects can empower communities through collaboration and create new primary sources, collapse barriers, and spark new dialogue. Digital Community Engagement “lifts the hood” and presents nine examples of digital collaborations from constructing a public response to police violence, to creating digital stories of homelessness, to young activists united around local people in the Deep South to build a grassroots movement for social change.

Wingo, Heppler and Schadewald bring together cutting-edge campus-community partnerships with a focus on digital projects. The case studies, authored by academics and their community partners, explore models for digital community engagement that leverage new media through reciprocal partnerships. The contributions to this volume stand at the crossroads of digital humanities, public history, and community
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Distant Publics
Development Rhetoric and the Subject of Crisis
Jenny Rice
University of Pittsburgh Press, 2012
Urban sprawl is omnipresent in America and has left many citizens questioning their ability to stop it. In Distant Publics, Jenny Rice examines patterns of public discourse that have evolved in response to development in urban and suburban environments. Centering her study on Austin, Texas, Rice finds a city that has simultaneously celebrated and despised development.

Rice outlines three distinct ways that the rhetoric of publics counteracts development: through injury claims, memory claims, and equivalence claims. In injury claims, rhetors frame themselves as victims in a dispute. Memory claims allow rhetors to anchor themselves to an older, deliberative space, rather than to a newly evolving one. Equivalence claims see the benefits on both sides of an issue, and here rhetors effectively become nonactors.

Rice provides case studies of development disputes that place the reader in the middle of real-life controversies and evidence her theories of claims-based public rhetorics. She finds that these methods comprise the most common (though not exclusive) vernacular surrounding development and shows how each is often counterproductive to its own goals. Rice further demonstrates that these claims create a particular role or public subjectivity grounded in one’s own feelings, which serves to distance publics from each other and the issues at hand.

Rice argues that rhetoricians have a duty to transform current patterns of public development discourse so that all individuals may engage in matters of crisis. She articulates its sustainability as both a goal and future disciplinary challenge of rhetorical studies and offers tools and methodologies toward that end.
[more]

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Dream Play Build
Hands-On Community Engagement for Enduring Spaces and Places
James Rojas and John Kamp
Island Press, 2022
The room is dim, the chairs are in perfectly lined rows. The city planner puts up a color-coded diagram of the street improvement project, dreading the inevitable angry responses.
Jana loves her community and is glad to be able to attend the evening meeting, and she has a lot of ideas for community change. But she has a hard time hearing, and can’t see the diagrams clearly. She leaves early.
It’s time to imagine a different type of community engagement – one that inspires connection, creativity, and fun.


People love their communities and want them to become safer, healthier, more prosperous places. But the standard approach to public meetings somehow makes everyone miserable. Conversations that should be inspiring can become shouting matches. So what would it look like to facilitate truly meaningful discussions between citizens and planners? What if they could be fun?

For twenty years, James Rojas and John Kamp have been looking to art, creative expression, and storytelling to shake up the classic community meeting. In Dream Play Build, they share their insights into building common ground and inviting active participation among diverse groups. Their approach, “Place It!,” draws on three methods: the interactive model-building workshop, the pop-up, and site exploration using our senses. Using our hands to build and create is central to what makes us human, helping spark ideas without relying on words to communicate. Deceptively playful, this method is remarkably effective at teasing out community dreams and desires from hands-on activities. Dream Play Build offers wisdom distilled from workshops held around the world, and a deep dive into the transformational approach and results from the South Colton community in southern California. While much of the process was developed through in-person meetings, the book also translates the experience to online engagement--how to make people remember their connections beyond the computer screen.

Inspirational and fun, Dream Play Build celebrates the value of engaging with the dreams we have for our communities. Readers will find themselves weaving these artful, playful lessons and methods into their own efforts for making change within the landscape around them.
[more]

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Faith and Community
How Engagement Strengthens Members, Places of Worship, and Society
Rebecca A. Glazier
Temple University Press, 2024
Places of worship are important anchor institutions in communities, helping to create social capital through discussion groups, soup kitchens, and neighborhood clean-ups. While congregations face increasing pressures, from declining attendance to political polarization, community engagement is an overall positive for their members and for democracy.

Faith and Community shows the benefits of religious people taking action in their communities. Through more than a decade of multi-method data collection, Rebecca Glazier surveyed over 4,000 congregants and nearly 500 clergy in Little Rock, Arkansas to gather opinions from members and leaders on community issues and engagement. Together with interviews and case studies, her findings indicate that active congregants are happier and more civically involved.

Faith and Community provides valuable insights into the relationship between religion and community engagement. The data illustrates how community engagement benefits individuals, congregations, and democracy and offers one solution to what ails religion in America today.
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Fighting Like a Community
Andean Civil Society in an Era of Indian Uprisings
Rudi Colloredo-Mansfeld
University of Chicago Press, 2009

The indigenous population of the Ecuadorian Andes made substantial political gains during the 1990s in the wake of a dynamic wave of local activism. The movement renegotiated land development laws, elected indigenous candidates to national office, and successfully fought for the constitutional redefinition of Ecuador as a nation of many cultures. Fighting Like a Community argues that these remarkable achievements paradoxically grew out of the deep differences—in language, class, education, and location—that began to divide native society in the 1960s.

            Drawing on fifteen years of fieldwork, Rudi Colloredo-Mansfeld explores these differences and the conflicts they engendered in a variety of communities. From protestors confronting the military during a national strike to a migrant family fighting to get a relative released from prison, Colloredo-Mansfeld recounts dramatic events and private struggles alike to demonstrate how indigenous power in Ecuador is energized by disagreements over values and priorities, eloquently contending that the plurality of Andean communities, not their unity, has been the key to their political success.

[more]

front cover of Financing Low Income Communities
Financing Low Income Communities
Julia Sass Rubin
Russell Sage Foundation, 2007
Access to capital and financial services is crucial for healthy communities.  However, many impoverished individuals and neighborhoods are routinely ignored by mainstream financial institutions.  This neglect led to the creation of community development financial institutions (CDFIs), which provide low-income communities with financial services and act as a conduit to conventional financial organizations and capital markets. Edited by Julia Sass Rubin, Financing Low-Income Communities brings together leading experts in the field to assess what we know about the challenges of bringing financial services and capital to poor communities, map out future lines of research, and propose policy reforms to make these efforts more effective. The contributors to Financing Low-Income Communities distill research on key topics related to community development finance. Daniel Schneider and Peter Tufano examine the obstacles that make saving and asset accumulation difficult for low-income households—such as the fact that tens of millions of low-income and minority adults don't have a bank account—and consider solutions, like making it easier for low-wage workers to enroll in 401(K) plans. Jeanne Hogarth, Jane Kolodinksy, and Marianne Hilgert review evidence showing that community-based financial education programs can be effective in changing families' saving and budgeting patterns.  Lisa Servon proposes strategies for addressing the challenges facing the microenterprise field in the United States.  Julia Sass Rubin discusses ways community loan and venture capital funds have adapted in response to the decreased availability of funding, and considers potential sources of new capital, such as state governments and public pension funds.  Marva Williams explores the evolution and recent performance of community development banks and credit unions.  Kathleen Engel and Patricia McCoy document the proliferation of predatory lenders, who market loans at onerous interest rates to financially vulnerable families and the devastating effects of such lending on communities—from increased crime to falling home values and lower tax revenues. Rachel Bratt reviews the policies and programs used to make rental and owned housing financially accessible.  Rob Hollister proposes a framework for evaluating the contributions of community development financial institutions. Despite the many accomplishments of CDFIs over the last four decades, changing political and economic conditions make it imperative that they adapt in order to survive.  Financing Low-Income Communities charts out new directions for public and private organizations which aim to end the financial exclusion of marginalized neighborhoods.
[more]

front cover of From Strangers to Neighbors
From Strangers to Neighbors
Post-Disaster Resettlement and Community Building in Honduras
By Ryan Alaniz
University of Texas Press, 2017

Natural disasters, the effects of climate change, and political upheavals and war have driven tens of millions of people from their homes and spurred intense debates about how governments and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) should respond with long-term resettlement strategies. Many resettlement efforts have focused primarily on providing infrastructure and have done little to help displaced people and communities rebuild social structure, which has led to resettlement failures throughout the world. So what does it take to transform a resettlement into a successful community?

This book offers the first long-term comparative study of social outcomes through a case study of two Honduran resettlements built for survivors of Hurricane Mitch (1998) by two different NGOs. Although residents of each arrived from the same affected neighborhoods and have similar demographics, twelve years later one resettlement wrestles with high crime, low participation, and low social capital, while the other maintains low crime, a high degree of social cohesion, participation, and general social health. Using a multi-method approach of household surveys, interviews, ethnography, and analysis of NGO and community documents, Ryan Alaniz demonstrates that these divergent resettlement trajectories can be traced back to the type and quality of support provided by external organizations and the creation of a healthy, cohesive community culture. His findings offer important lessons and strategies that can be utilized in other places and in future resettlement policy to achieve the most effective and positive results.

[more]

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Ghosts of Organizations Past
Communities of Organizations as Settings for Change
Dan Ryan
Temple University Press, 2015
In Ghosts of Organizations Past, Dan Ryan asks, “Why are urban communities such hard places to implement community improvement programs?” Looking at New Haven, Connecticut, and a now-defunct program called Fighting Back, which was created to build community coalitions against the abuse of alcohol and other drugs, Ryan shows how the normal properties of organizations generate apparent pathologies. He shows how the “ghosts,” or artifacts, of past organizations, both inhibited and enhanced Fighting Back's chances of success.

Ryan draws on concepts from the study of organizations, social capital, and social networks to re-think questions such as “What kind of thing is a community?” and “Why is it so difficult to build community initiatives out of organizations?” He provides a social organizational explanation for problems familiar to anyone who has been involved in community programs, issues that are usually understood as personal incompetence, turf wars, greed, or corruption.

Ghosts of Organizations Past describes the challenges of using organizations to create change in places in dire need of it.
[more]

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Global City-Twinning in the Digital Age
Michel S. Laguerre
University of Michigan Press, 2019

For many years, cities throughout the globe have developed ties with each other to process and nurture friendship, solidarity, and collaboration. These city relationships constitute a mode of governance distinct from those of cities that are not involved in such cross-border arrangements, with influence that expands far beyond region.

In this light, Global City-Twinning in the Digital Age unveils an analysis of intercity relationships both on a global scale and as a global phenomenon with digital communication technologies that play key roles in upgrading traditional practices, enhancing cross-border cooperation, and facilitating the production of digital sister cities. This book analyzes the deployment of sister-city formations and operations throughout the world with a focus on cities of North America, Latin America, North Africa, Europe, and the Mediterranean region. Using a global approach, it discusses friendship, entrepreneurship, urban development, cooperative management, municipal policy, and digital entanglements. It expands the scope of study of sister cities by unveiling the role of immigrants, diaspora, and post-diaspora in the making and functioning of the digital model of sister cities.

[more]

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Gone Goose
The Remaking of an American Town in the Age of Climate Change
Braden T. Leap
Temple University Press, 2019

Sumner, MO, pop. 102, near the Swan Lake National Wildlife Refuge, proclaims itself “The Wild Goose Capital of the World.” It even displays Maxie, the World’s largest goose: a 40-foot tall fiberglass statue with a wingspan stretching more than 60 feet. But while the 200,000 Canada geese that spent their falls and winters at Swan Lake helped generate millions of dollars for the local economy—with hunting and the annual Goose Festival—climate change, as well as environmental and land use issues, have caused the birds to disappear. The economic loss of the geese and the activities they inspired served as key building blocks in the rural identities residents had developed and treasured.

In his timely and topical book, Gone Goose, Braden Leap observes how members of this rural town adapted, reorganized, and reinvented themselves in the wake of climate change—and how they continued to cultivate respect and belonging in their community. Leap conducted interviews with residents and participated in various community events to explore how they reimagine their relationships with each other as well as their community’s relationship with the environment, even as they wish the geese would return.

[more]

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Grant Park
The Evolution of Chicago's Front Yard
Dennis H. Cremin
Southern Illinois University Press, 2013
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 as 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
[more]

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Gray to Green Communities
A Call to Action on the Housing and Climate Crises
Dana Bourland
Island Press, 2020
US cities are faced with the joint challenge of our climate crisis and the lack of housing that is affordable and healthy. Our housing stock contributes significantly to the changing climate, with residential buildings accounting for 20 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. US housing is not only unhealthy for the planet, it is putting the physical and financial health of residents at risk. Our housing system means that a renter working 40 hours a week and earning minimum wage cannot afford a two-bedroom apartment in any US county. 

In Gray to Green Communities, green affordable housing expert Dana Bourland argues that we need to move away from a gray housing model to a green model, which considers the health and well-being of residents, their communities, and the planet. She demonstrates that we do not have to choose between protecting our planet and providing housing affordable to all.

Bourland draws from her experience leading the Green Communities Program at Enterprise Community Partners, a national community development intermediary. Her work resulted in the first standard for green affordable housing which was designed to deliver measurable health, economic, and environmental benefits.

The book opens with the potential of green affordable housing, followed by the problems that it is helping to solve, challenges in the approach that need to be overcome, and recommendations for the future of green affordable housing. Gray to Green Communities brings together the stories of those who benefit from living in green affordable housing and examples of Green Communities’ developments from across the country. Bourland posits that over the next decade we can deliver on the human right to housing while reaching a level of carbon emissions reductions agreed upon by scientists and demanded by youth.

Gray to Green Communities will empower and inspire anyone interested in the future of housing and our planet.
 
[more]

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A Guide to Careers in Community Development
Paul C. Brophy and Alice Shabecoff
Island Press, 2001

Community development -- the economic, physical, and social revitalization of a community, led by the people who live in that community -- offers a wide range of exciting and rewarding employment options. But until now, there has been no "road map" for professionals, volunteers, students, or anyone wishing to become involved in the field.

A Guide to Careers in Community Development describes the many different kinds of community development jobs available, ranging from community organizing, to financing housing and new businesses, to redeveloping brownfields. It offers advice on how to break into the field along with guidance for career advancement and lateral movement.

Following an introductory chapter that offers an overview and definition of community development and its history, the authors describe:

  • different institutions in the field and how they fit together
  • pros and cons of community development careers, with a self-assessment quiz for readers to use in analyzing their suitability for the field
  • the work and skills involved in different kinds of positions
  • how to prepare for and move up in a career
  • how to land that first job
Also included are detailed appendixes that provide information on job descriptions with salary ranges; universities and colleges offering community development curricula; training programs; where to look for job announcements; internet resources; internships, fellowships, and volunteer positions; and much more.

A Guide to Careers in Community Development is an essential reference for anyone interested in working in the community development field, including graduate and undergraduate students, volunteers, and mid-career professionals seeking a more fulfilling line of work.

[more]

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A Guide to Planning for Community Character
Lane H. Kendig with Bret Keast
Island Press, 2010
A Guide to Planning for  Community Character adds a wealth of practical applications to the framework that Lane Kendig describes in his previous book, Community Character. The purpose of the earlier book is to give citizens and planners a systematic way of thinking about the attributes of their communities and a common language to use for planning and zoning in a consistent and reliable way. This follow-up volume addresses actual design in the three general classes of communities in Kendig's framework-urban, suburban, and rural.

The author's practical approaches enable designers to create communities "with the character that citizens actually want." Kendig also provides a guide for incorporating community character into a comprehensive plan. In addition, this book shows how to use community character in planning and zoning as a way of making communities more sustainable. All examples in the volume are designed to meet real-world challenges. They show how to design a community so that the desired character is actually achieved in the built result. The book also provides useful tools for analyzing or measuring relevant design features.

Together, the books provide a comprehensive treatment of community character, offering both a tested theory of planning based on visual and physical character and practical ways to plan and measure communities. The strength of this comprehensive approach is that it is ultimately less rigid and more adaptable than many recent "flexible" zoning codes.
[more]

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A House of My Own
Social Organization in the Squatter Settlements of Lima, Peru
Susan Lobo
University of Arizona Press, 1982
"A fairly comprehensive monograph, highly suitable for classroom use, that offers a wide range of information fit into traditional anthropological categories. . . . an interesting study of cultural integrity and pattern in a setting of what appears to be complex sociopolitical chaos." —American Anthropologist

"Whether or not one accepts Susan Lobo's optimistic analysis, her ability to translate the apparent chaos of shanty-town lives into such neat patterns and to help outsiders view life as the inhabitants do are important contributions." —Inter-American Review of Bibliography

"An extremely competent ethnography, simple and straightforward." —Anthropos

"A pleasure to read, a mine of information which will be useful in teaching students to formulate their own hypotheses." —International Journal of Urban & Regional Research

"Very well written and provides a great wealth of the liveliest sort of ethnographic detail." —Latin American Research Review

"Lobo's study of two squatter settlements in Lima provides a solid, well-written, detailed, traditional ethnography of poor families in a Third World urban setting." —Hispanic American Historical Review

"This well-written account . . . has a lot of heart and feeling for the human face of the urban poor." —International Migration Review
[more]

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Human Transit
How Clearer Thinking about Public Transit Can Enrich Our Communities and Our Lives
Jarrett Walker
Island Press, 2011
Public transit is a powerful tool for addressing a huge range of urban problems, including traffic congestion and economic development as well as climate change. But while many people support transit in the abstract, it's often hard to channel that support into good transit investments.  Part of the problem is that transit debates attract many kinds of experts, who often talk past each other.  Ordinary people listen to a little of this and decide that transit is impossible to figure out.
 
Jarrett Walker believes that transit can be simple, if we focus first on the underlying geometry that all transit technologies share. In Human Transit, Walker supplies the basic tools, the critical questions, and the means to make smarter decisions about designing and implementing transit services.
 
Human Transit explains the fundamental geometry of transit that shapes successful systems; the process for fitting technology to a particular community; and the local choices that lead to transit-friendly development. Whether you are in the field or simply a concerned citizen, here is an accessible guide to achieving successful public transit that will enrich any community.
[more]

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Integrating the Inner City
The Promise and Perils of Mixed-Income Public Housing Transformation
Robert J. Chaskin and Mark L. Joseph
University of Chicago Press, 2015
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.
[more]

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Liberation and Development
Black Consciousness Community Programs in South Africa
Leslie Anne Hadfield
Michigan State University Press, 2016
Liberation and Development: Black Consciousness Community Programs in South Africa is an account of the community development programs of the Black Consciousness movement in South Africa. It covers the emergence of the movement’s ideas and practices in the context of the late 1960s and early 1970s, then analyzes how activists refined their practices, mobilized resources, and influenced people through their work. The book examines this history primarily through the Black Community Programs organization and its three major projects: the yearbook Black Review, the Zanempilo Community Health Center, and the Njwaxa leatherwork factory. As opposed to better-known studies of antipolitical, macroeconomic initiatives, this book shows that people from the so-called global South led development in innovative ways that promised to increase social and political participation. It particularly explores the power that youth, women, and churches had in leading change in a hostile political environment. With this new perspective on a major liberation movement, Hadfield not only causes us to rethink aspects of African history but also offers lessons from the past for African societies still dealing with developmental challenges similar to those faced during apartheid.
[more]

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Making a Global Immigrant Neighborhood
Brooklyn's Sunset Park
Tarry Hum
Temple University Press, 2014

Based on more than a decade of research, Making a Global Immigrant Neighborhood charts the evolution of Sunset Park--with a densely concentrated working-poor and racially diverse immigrant population--from the late 1960s to its current status as one of New York City's most vibrant neighborhoods. 

Tarry Hum shows how processes of globalization, such as shifts in low-wage labor markets and immigration patterns, shaped the neighborhood. She explains why Sunset Park's future now depends on Asian and Latino immigrant collaborations in advancing common interests in community building, civic engagement, entrepreneurialism, and sustainability planning. She shows, too, how residents' responses to urban development policies and projects and the capital represented by local institutions and banks foster community activism. 

Hum pays close attention to the complex social, political, and spatial dynamics that forge a community and create new models of leadership as well as coalitions. The evolution of Sunset Park so astutely depicted in this book suggests new avenues for studying urban change and community development.

 
[more]

front cover of Making Democracy Matter
Making Democracy Matter
Identity and Activism in Los Angeles
Brodkin, Karen
Rutgers University Press, 2007
 What makes a social movement a movement? Where do the contagious energy, vision, and sense of infinite possibility come from? Students of progressive social movements know a good deal about what works and what doesn't and about the constituencies that are conducive to political activism, but what are the personal and emotional dynamics that turn ordinary people into activists? And, what are the visions and practices of democracy that foster such transformations?

This book seeks to answer these questions through conversations and interviews with a generation of activists who came of political age in Los Angeles during the 1990s. Politically schooled in the city's vibrant immigrant worker and youth-led campaigns against xenophobic and racist voter initiatives, these young activists created a new political cohort with its own signature of democratic practice and vision. Combining analytical depth, engaging oral history, and rich description, this absorbing and accessible book will appeal to all those interested in social movements, racial justice, the political activism of women and men of color, and the labor movement today.
[more]

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Making the Mission
Planning and Ethnicity in San Francisco
Ocean Howell
University of Chicago Press, 2015
In the aftermath of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, residents of the city’s iconic Mission District bucked the city-wide development plan, defiantly announcing that in their neighborhood, they would be calling the shots. Ever since, the Mission has become known as a city within a city, and a place where residents have, over the last century, organized and reorganized themselves to make the neighborhood in their own image.

In Making the Mission, Ocean Howell tells the story of how residents of the Mission District organized to claim the right to plan their own neighborhood and how they mobilized a politics of place and ethnicity to create a strong, often racialized identity—a pattern that would repeat itself again and again throughout the twentieth century. Surveying the perspectives of formal and informal groups, city officials and district residents, local and federal agencies, Howell articulates how these actors worked with and against one another to establish the very ideas of the public and the public interest, as well as to negotiate and renegotiate what the neighborhood wanted. In the process, he shows that national narratives about how cities grow and change are fundamentally insufficient; everything is always shaped by local actors and concerns.
[more]

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Managing Growth in America's Communities
Douglas R. Porter
Island Press, 1997

Communities across the country are turning to the concept of "growth management" to help plan for the future, as they seek to control the location, impact, character and timing of development in order to balance environmental and economic needs and concerns. Managing Growth in America's Communities presents practical information about proven strategies, programs and techniques of growth management for urban and rural communities. Topics examined include:

  • public roles in community development
  • determining locations and character of future development
  • protecting environmental and natural resources
  • managing infrastructure development
  • preserving community character and quality
  • achieving economic and social goals
  • property rights concerns
The author describes regulatory and programmatic techniques that have been most useful, obstacles to be overcome, and specific strategies that have been instrumental in achieving successful growth management programs. He provides examples from dozens of communities across the country as well as state and regional approaches currently in use. Brief profiles present overviews of problems addressed, techniques implemented, outcomes, and contact information for conducting further research. Among the communities profiled are Arlington County, Virginia; Fort Collins, Colorado; Lexington-Fayette County, Kentucky; Lincoln, Nebraska; Sarasota, Florida; Raleigh, North Carolina; Scottsdale, Arizona; and numerous others. Also included in the volume are informational sidebars written by leading experts in growth management including Robert Yaro, John De Grove, David Brower, and others.

Managing Growth in America's Communities is essential reading for community development specialists including government officials, planners, environmentalists, designers, developers, business people, and concerned citizens seeking innovative and feasible ways to manage growth.

[more]

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Managing Growth in America's Communities
Second Edition
Douglas Porter
Island Press, 2007
In this thoroughly revised edition of Managing Growth in America's Communities, readers will learn the principles that guide intelligent planning for communities of any size, grasp the major issues in successfully managing growth, and discover what has actually worked in practice (and where and why). This clearly written book details how American communities have grappled with the challenges of planning for growth and the ways in which they are adapting new ideas about urban design, green building, and conservation. Itdescribes the policies and programs they have implemented, and includes examples from towns and cities throughout the U.S.
 
“Growth management” is essential today, as communities seek to control the location, impact, character and timing of development in order to balance environmental and economic needs and concerns. Managing Growth in America's Communities addresses all of the key considerations:
  • Establishing public roles in community development;
  • Determining locations and character of future development;
  • Protecting environmental and natural resources;
  • Managing infrastructure development;
  • Preserving community character and quality;
  • Achieving economic and social goals;
  • Respecting property rights concerns.
 
The author, who is one of the nation’s leading authorities on managing community growth, provides examples from dozens of communities across the country, as well as state and regional approaches. Brief profiles present overviews of specific problems addressed, techniques utilized, results achieved, and contact information for further research. Informative sidebars offer additional perspectives from experts in growth management, including Robert Lang, Arthur C. Nelson, Erik Meyers, and others.
 
This new edition has been completely updated by the author. In particular, he considers issues of population growth, eminent domain, and the importance of design, especially “green” design. He also reports on the latest ideas in sustainable development, “smart growth,” neighborhood design, transit-oriented development, and green infrastructure planning. Like its predecessor, the second edition of Managing Growth in America's Communities is essential reading for anyone who is interested in how communities can grow intelligently.

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The Man-Made City
The Land-Use Confidence Game in Chicago
Gerald D. Suttles
University of Chicago Press, 1990
With its extraordinary uniform street grid, its magnificent lake-side park, and innovative architecture and public sculpture, Chicago is one of the most planned cities of the modern era. Yet over the past few decades Chicago has come to epitomize some of the worst evils of urban decay: widespread graft and corruption, political stalemates, troubled race relations, and economic decline. Broad-shouldered boosterism can no longer disguise the city's failure to keep pace with others, its failure to attract new "sunrise" industries and world-class events. For Chicago, as for other rust-belt cities, new ways of planning and managing the urban environment are now much more than civic beautification; they are the means to survival.

Gerald D. Suttles here offers an irreverent, highly critical guide to both the realities and myths of land-use planning and development in Chicago from 1976 through 1987.
[more]

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Mobilizing Communities
Asset Building as a Community Development Strategy
Edited by Gary Paul Green and Ann Goetting
Temple University Press, 2013
As communities face new social and economic challenges as well as political changes, the responsibilities for social services, housing needs, and welfare programs are being placed at the local government level. But can community-based organizations address these concerns effectively? The editors and contributors to Mobilizing Communities explore how these organizations are responding to these challenges, and how asset-based development efforts can be successful.
[more]

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The Mutual Housing Experiment
New Deal Communities for the Urban Middle Class
Kristin M Szylvian
Temple University Press, 2016
In 1940, the U.S. Federal Works Agency created an experimental housing program for industrial workers. Eight model communities were leased and later sold to the residents, who formed a non-profit corporation called a mutual housing association. Further development of housing under the mutual housing plan was stymied by controversies around radical politics and race, and questions over whether the federal government should be involved in housing policy.

In The Mutual Housing Experiment, Kristin Szylvian examines 32 mutual housing associations that are still in existence today, and offers strong evidence to show that federal public housing policy was not the failure that critics allege. She explains that mutual home ownership has not only proven its economic value, but has also given rise to communities characterized by a strong sense of identity and civic engagement.

The book shows that this important period in urban and housing policy provides critical lessons for contemporary housing analysts who continue to emphasize traditional home ownership for all wage-earners despite the home mortgage crisis of 2008.
[more]

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The New Chicago Way
Lessons from Other Big Cities
Ed Bachrach and Austin Berg
Southern Illinois University Press, 2019
For all the wrong reasons, a national spotlight is shining on Chicago. The city has become known for its violence, police abuse, parent and teacher unrest, population decline, and mounting municipal and pension debt. The underlying problem, contend Ed Bachrach and Austin Berg, is that deliberative democracy is dead in the city. Chicago is home to the last strongman political system in urban America. The mayor holds all the power, and any perceived checks on mayoral control are often proven illusory. Rash decisions have resulted in poor outcomes. The outrageous consequences of unchecked power are evident in government failures in elections, schools, fiscal discipline, corruption, public support for private enterprise, policing, and more.
 
Rather than simply lament the situation, criticize specific leaders, or justify an ideology, Bachrach and Berg compare the decisions about Chicago’s governance and finances with choices made in fourteen other large U.S. cities. The problems that seem unique to Chicago have been encountered elsewhere, and Chicagoans, the authors posit, can learn from the successful solutions other cities have embraced.
 
Chicago government and its citizens must let go of the past to prepare for the future, argue Bachrach and Berg. A future filled with demographic, technological, and economic change requires a government capable of responding and adapting. Reforms can transform the city. The prescriptions for change provided in this book point toward a hopeful future: the New Chicago Way.
[more]

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Nonprofit Neighborhoods
An Urban History of Inequality and the American State
Claire Dunning
University of Chicago Press, 2022
An exploration of how and why American city governments delegated the responsibility for solving urban inequality to the nonprofit sector.
 
Nonprofits serving a range of municipal and cultural needs are now so ubiquitous in US cities, it can be difficult to envision a time when they were more limited in number, size, and influence. Turning back the clock, however, uncovers both an illuminating story of how the nonprofit sector became such a dominant force in American society, as well as a troubling one of why this growth occurred alongside persistent poverty and widening inequality. Claire Dunning’s book connects these two stories in histories of race, democracy, and capitalism, revealing how the federal government funded and deputized nonprofits to help individuals in need, and in so doing avoided addressing the structural inequities that necessitated such action in the first place.

Nonprofit Neighborhoods begins after World War II, when suburbanization, segregation, and deindustrialization inaugurated an era of urban policymaking that applied private solutions to public problems. Dunning introduces readers to the activists, corporate executives, and politicians who advocated addressing poverty and racial exclusion through local organizations, while also raising provocative questions about the politics and possibilities of social change. The lessons of Nonprofit Neighborhoods exceed the bounds of Boston, where the story unfolds, providing a timely history of the shift from urban crisis to urban renaissance for anyone concerned about American inequality—past, present, or future.
 
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Now Is the Time!
Detroit Black Politics and Grassroots Activism
Todd C. Shaw
Duke University Press, 2009
In Now Is the Time! Todd C. Shaw delves into the political strategies of post–Civil Rights Movement African American activists in Detroit, Michigan, to discover the conditions for effective social activism. Analyzing a wide range of grassroots community-housing initiatives intended to revitalize Detroit’s failing urban center and aid its impoverished population, he investigates why certain collective actions have far-reaching effects while others fail to yield positive results. What emerges is EBAM (Effective Black Activism Model), Shaw’s detailed political model that illuminates crucial elements of successful grassroots activism, such as strong alliances, strategic advantages, and adaptive techniques.

Shaw uses the tools of social movement analysis, including the quantitative analysis of budgets, electoral data, and housing statistics, as well as historical research and personal interviews, to better understand the dilemmas, innovations, and dynamics of grassroots activism. He begins with a history of discriminatory housing practices and racial divisions that deeply affected Detroit following the Second World War and set the stage for the election of the city’s first black mayor, Coleman Young. By emphasizing downtown redevelopment, Mayor Young’s administration often collided with low-income housing advocates. Only through grassroots activism were those advocates able to delay or derail governmental efforts to demolish low-income housing in order to make way for more upscale development. Shaw then looks at present-day public housing activism, assessing the mixed success of the nationally sponsored HOPE VI project aimed at fostering home ownership in low-income areas. Descriptive and prescriptive, Now Is the Time! traces the complicated legacy of community activism to illuminate what is required for grassroots activists to be effective in demanding public accountability to poor and marginalized citizens.

[more]

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Organizing Access To Capital
Advocacy And The Democratization
edited by Gregory D. Squires
Temple University Press, 2003
Community activists were delighted with the passage of the Community Reinvestment Act, but they came to realize that it would take more than the word of law to bring about real change. This book gives voice to the activists who took it upon themselves to agitate for increased investment by financial institutions in their local communities. They tell of their struggles to get banks, mortgage companies and others to rethink their lending policies. Their stories, drawn from experiences in Chicago, New York, Milwaukee, Boston, Pittsburgh, and other cities around the country, offer insight into the way our political/economic system really works.
[more]

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Participatory Development in Appalachia
Cultural Identity, Community, and Sustainability
Susan E. Keefe
University of Tennessee Press, 2009
Often thought of as impoverished, backward, and victimized, the people of the southern mountains have long been prime candidates for development projects conceptualized and controlled from outside the region. This book, breaking with old stereotypes and the strategies they spawned, proposes an alternative paradigm for development projects in Appalachian communities-one that is far more inclusive and democratic than previous models.

Emerging from a critical analysis of the modern development process, the participatory development approach advocated in this book assumes that local culture has value, that local communities have assets, and that local people have the capacity to envision and provide leadership for their own social change. It thus promotes better decision making in Appalachian communities through public participation and civic engagement.

Filling a void in current research by detailing useful, hands-on tools and methods employed in a variety of contexts and settings, the book combines relevant case studies of successful participatory projects with practical recommendations from seasoned professionals. Editor Susan E. Keefe has included the perspectives of anthropologists, sociologists, and others who have been engaged, sometimes for decades, in Appalachian communities. These contributors offer hopeful new strategies for dealing with Appalachia's most enduring problems-strategies that will also aid activists and researchers working in other distressed or underserved communities.

Susan E. Keefe is professor of anthropology at Appalachian State University. She is the editor of Appalachian Mental Health and Appalachian Cultural Competency: A Guide for Medical, Mental Health, and Social Service Professionals.
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A People's History of Detroit
Mark Jay and Philip Conklin
Duke University Press, 2020
Recent bouts of gentrification and investment in Detroit have led some to call it the greatest turnaround story in American history. Meanwhile, activists point to the city's cuts to public services, water shutoffs, mass foreclosures, and violent police raids. In A People's History of Detroit, Mark Jay and Philip Conklin use a class framework to tell a sweeping story of Detroit from 1913 to the present, embedding Motown's history in a global economic context. Attending to the struggle between corporate elites and radical working-class organizations, Jay and Conklin outline the complex sociopolitical dynamics underlying major events in Detroit's past, from the rise of Fordism and the formation of labor unions, to deindustrialization and the city's recent bankruptcy. They demonstrate that Detroit's history is not a tale of two cities—one of wealth and development and another racked by poverty and racial violence; rather it is the story of a single Detroit that operates according to capitalism's mandates.
[more]

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The Philadelphia Barrio
The Arts, Branding, and Neighborhood Transformation
Frederick F. Wherry
University of Chicago Press, 2011

How does a so-called bad neighborhood go about changing its reputation? Is it simply a matter of improving material conditions or picking the savviest marketing strategy? What kind of role can or should the arts play in that process? Does gentrification always entail a betrayal of a neighborhood’s roots? Tackling these questions and offering a fresh take on the dynamics of urban revitalization, The Philadelphia Barrio examines one neighborhood’s fight to erase the stigma of devastation.

Frederick F. Wherry shows how, in the predominantly Latino neighborhood of Centro de Oro, entrepreneurs and community leaders forged connections between local businesses and cultural institutions to rebrand a place once nicknamed the Badlands. Artists and performers negotiated with government organizations and national foundations, Wherry reveals, and took to local galleries, stages, storefronts, and street parades in a concerted, canny effort to reanimate the spirit of their neighborhood.

Complicating our notions of neighborhood change by exploring the ways the process is driven by local residents, The Philadelphia Barrio presents a nuanced look at how city dwellers can make commercial interests serve the local culture, rather than exploit it.

[more]

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Philadelphia
Neighborhoods, Division, and Conflict in a Post-Industrial City
Carolyn Adams
Temple University Press, 1993

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A Place at the Table
Kathleen de la Peña McCook
American Library Association, 2000

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Please RSVP
Questions on Collaborative Aesthetics, Trans-Subjectivity, and the Politics of Love
April Durham
Dartmouth College Press, 2019
It’s no secret that working with others, rather than alone, on a creative project can often yield the most unexpected results, a new and surprising sum greater than the whole of its parts. Please RSVP presents a bold new theory of just how powerful collaboration can be in the making of art. April Durham argues that collaborative activity has the potential to broaden and expand an individual participant’s static identity through what she calls “trans-subjectivity.” She offers a fine-grained analysis of the ways in which personal subjectivity becomes porous and malleable during the process of shared creative labor. Durham’s concept of the trans-subjective offers a new way to come to terms with the networks, either digital or otherwise, that have developed over the twentieth- and twenty-first centuries, providing a bold new frame for topics like the experience of time, community, language, and ethics. This is a crucial and eye-opening book for contemporary artists and art historians alike.
[more]

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The Politics of Place
Contentious Urban Redevlopment in Pittsburgh
Gregory J. Crowley
University of Pittsburgh Press, 2005

In urban America, large-scale redevelopment is a frequent news item.  Many proposals for such redevelopment are challenged—sometimes successfully, and other times to no avail.  The Politics of Place considers the reasons for these outcomes by examining five cases of contentious redevelopment in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, between 1949 and 2000.

In four of these cases, the challengers to redevelopment failed to create the conditions necessary for strong democratic participation. In the fifth case—the proposed reconstruction of Pittsburgh’s downtown retail district (1997–2000)—challengers succeeded, and Crowley describes the crucial role of independent nonprofit organizations in bringing about this result.

At the heart of Crowley’s discussion are questions central to any urban redevelopment debate: Who participates in urban redevelopment, what motivates them to do so, and what structures in the political process open or close a democratic dialogue among the stakeholders? Through his astute analysis, Crowley answers these questions and posits a framework through which to view future contention in urban redevelopment.

[more]

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Poverty in Common
The Politics of Community Action during the American Century
Alyosha Goldstein
Duke University Press, 2012
After the Second World War, the idea that local community action was indispensable for the alleviation of poverty was broadly embraced by US policymakers, social scientists, international development specialists, and grassroots activists. Governmental efforts to mobilize community action in the name of democracy served as a volatile condition of possibility for poor people and dispossessed groups negotiating the tension between calls for self-help and demands for self-determination in the era of the Cold War and global decolonization. In Poverty in Common, Alyosha Goldstein suggests new ways to think about the relationship among liberalism, government, and inequality in the United States. He does so by analyzing historical dynamics including Progressive-era reform as a precursor to community development during the Cold War, the ways that the language of "underdevelopment" articulated ideas about poverty and foreignness, the use of poverty as a crucible of interest group politics, and radical groups' critical reframing of community action in anticolonial terms. During the mid-twentieth century, approaches to poverty in the United States were linked to the racialized and gendered negotiation of boundaries—between the foreign and the domestic, empire and nation, violence and order, and dependency and autonomy.
[more]

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Practicing Community
Class Culture and Power in an Urban Neighborhood
By Rhoda H. Halperin
University of Texas Press, 1998

Cincinnati's East End river community has been home to generations of working-class people. This racially mixed community has roots that reach back as far as seven generations. But the community is vulnerable. Developers bulldoze "raggedy" but affordable housing to build upscale condos, even as East Enders fight to preserve the community by participating in urban development planning controlled by powerful outsiders.

This book portrays how East Enders practice the preservation of community. Drawing on more than six years of anthropological research and advocacy in the East End, Rhoda Halperin argues for redefining community not merely as a place, but as a set of culturally embedded and class-marked practices that give priority to caring for children and the elderly, procuring livelihood, and providing support for family, friends, and neighbors. These practices create the structures of community within the larger urban power structure.

Halperin uses different genres to weave the voices of East Enders throughout the book. Poems and narratives offer poignant insights into the daily struggles against impersonal market forces that work against the struggle for livelihood. This firsthand account questions commonly held assumptions about working-class people. In a fresh way, it reveals the cultural construction of marginality, from the viewpoints of both "real East Enders" and the urban power structure.

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Race and Renaissance
African Americans in Pittsburgh since World War II
Joe W. Trotter
University of Pittsburgh Press, 2013
African Americans from Pittsburgh have a long and distinctive history of contributions to the cultural, political, and social evolution of the United States. From jazz legend Earl Fatha Hines to playwright August Wilson, from labor protests in the 1950s to the Black Power movement of the late 1960s, Pittsburgh has been a force for change in American race and class relations.   

Race and Renaissance presents the first history of African American life in Pittsburgh after World War II. It examines the origins and significance of the second Great Migration, the persistence of Jim Crow into the postwar years, the second ghetto, the contemporary urban crisis, the civil rights and Black Power movements, and the Million Man and Million Woman marches, among other topics.

In recreating this period, Trotter and Day draw not only from newspaper articles and other primary and secondary sources, but also from oral histories. These include interviews with African Americans who lived in Pittsburgh during the postwar era, uncovering firsthand accounts of what life was truly like during this transformative epoch in urban history.

In these ways, Race and Renaissance illuminateshow African Americans arrived at their present moment in history. It also links movements for change to larger global issues: civil rights with the Vietnam War; affirmative action with the movement against South African apartheid. As such, the study draws on both sociology and urban studies to deepen our understanding of the lives of urban blacks.
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Rebuilding Community after Katrina
Transformative Education in the New Orleans Planning Initiative
Ken Reardon
Temple University Press, 2015

Rebuilding Community after Katrina chronicles the innovative and ambitious partnership between Cornell University’s City and Regional Planning department and ACORN Housing, an affiliate of what was the nation’s largest low-income community organization. These unlikely allies came together to begin to rebuild devastated neighborhoods in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.  

The editors and contributors to this volume allow participants’ voices to show how this partnership integrated careful, technical analysis with aggressive community outreach and organizing. With essays by activists, organizers, community members, and academics on the ground, Rebuilding Community after Katrina presents insights on the challenges involved in changing the way politicians and analysts imagined the future of New Orleans’ Ninth Ward. 

What emerges from this complex drama are lessons about community planning, organizational relationships, and team building across multi-cultural lines. The accounts presented in Rebuilding Community after Katrina raise important and sensitive questions about the appropriate roles of outsiders in community-based planning processes.

[more]

front cover of Redlining To Reinvestment
Redlining To Reinvestment
edited by Gregory D. Squires
Temple University Press, 1992

After decades of suffering redlining and disinvestment by financial institutions, many communities have learned to fight back successfully. In more than seventy U.S. cities, over 300 community-based organizations have negotiated at least eighteen billion dollars in reinvestment commitments in recent years. In original essays, well-known community activists and activist academics tell the stories of some of the most successful reinvestment campaigns in Boston, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Chicago, Milwaukee, Atlanta, and California.


In the series Conflicts in Urban and Regional Development, edited by John R. Logan and Todd Swanstrom.
 

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Reinventing Citizenship
Black Los Angeles, Korean Kawasaki, and Community Participation
Kazuyo Tsuchiya
University of Minnesota Press, 2014


In the 1960s and 1970s, the United States and Japan went through massive welfare expansions that sparked debates about citizenship. At the heart of these disputes stood African Americans and Koreans. Reinventing Citizenship offers a comparative study of African American welfare activism in Los Angeles and Koreans’ campaigns for welfare rights in Kawasaki. In working-class and poor neighborhoods in both locations, African Americans and Koreans sought not only to be recognized as citizens but also to become legitimate constituting members of communities.

Local activists in Los Angeles and Kawasaki ardently challenged the welfare institutions. By creating opposition movements and voicing alternative visions of citizenship, African American leaders, Tsuchiya argues, turned Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty into a battle for equality. Koreans countered the city’s and the nation’s exclusionary policies and asserted their welfare rights. Tsuchiya’s work exemplifies transnational antiracist networking, showing how black religious leaders traveled to Japan to meet Christian Korean activists and to provide counsel for their own struggles.

Reinventing Citizenship reveals how race and citizenship transform as they cross countries and continents. By documenting the interconnected histories of African Americans and Koreans in Japan, Tsuchiya enables us to rethink present ideas of community and belonging.

[more]

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Remaking New York
Primitive Globalization And The Politics Of Urban Community
William Sites
University of Minnesota Press, 2003

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The Roots of Urban Renaissance
Gentrification and the Struggle over Harlem
Brian D. Goldstein
Harvard University Press, 2017

Displaying gleaming new shopping centers and refurbished row houses, Harlem today bears little resemblance to the neighborhood of the midcentury urban crisis. Brian Goldstein traces Harlem’s widely noted “Second Renaissance” to a surprising source: the radical 1960s social movements that resisted city officials and fought to give Harlemites control of their own destiny.

In the post–World War II era, large-scale government-backed redevelopment drove the economic and physical transformation of urban neighborhoods. But in the 1960s, young Harlem activists inspired by the civil rights movement recognized urban renewal as one more example of a power structure that gave black Americans little voice in the decisions that most affected them. They demanded the right to plan their own redevelopment and founded new community-based organizations to achieve that goal. In the following decades, those organizations became the crucibles in which Harlemites debated what their streets should look like and who should inhabit them. Radical activists envisioned a Harlem built by and for its low-income, predominantly African-American population.

In the succeeding decades, however, community-based organizations came to pursue a very different goal: a neighborhood with national retailers and increasingly affluent residents. In charting the history that transformed Harlem by the twenty-first century, The Roots of Urban Renaissance demonstrates that gentrification was not imposed on an unwitting community by unscrupulous developers or opportunistic outsiders. Rather, it grew from the neighborhood’s grassroots, producing a legacy that benefited some longtime residents and threatened others.

[more]

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Site Design for Multifamily Housing
Creating Livable, Connected Neighborhoods
Nico Larco, Kristin Kelsey, and Amanda Stocker West
Island Press, 2014
The United States is over eighty percent urbanized, yet over half of the population still lives in suburban settings, characterized by low-density, automobile-dependent development with separated land uses. These disconnected and isolated models of development have been linked to increased greenhouse-gas emissions and reduced quality of life, health, and social connections. In Site Design for Multifamily Housing: Creating Livable, Connected Neighborhoods, the authors explain that creating more livable and vital communities is within reach and the design and development of multifamily housing is a key component to reaching this goal.

Multifamily housing is an important component of increasing density, but large lot multifamily developments often lack connectivity and hence limit livability and walkability. Multifamily housing in suburban areas presents greater challenges than in urban areas due in part to larger lot sizes and street patterns that are often a mix of cul-de-sac, curved, looped, and dead-end streets. Increasing the livability of these developments is an important first step in affecting the livability of the country as a whole.

This handbook introduces planners, developers, and designers to ten key elements of multifamily site design, comparing typical and recommended conditions. Case studies of successful large lot multifamily developments as well as retrofit proposals for existing developments with low internal and external connectivity will demonstrate how the tools in the book can be applied.  Examples are drawn from Oregon, California, North Carolina, and Arizona. The ideas and tools in this book, including the planning checklist, code guide, and code summaries, will help users to create more livable, vibrant, and healthy communities. 
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Social Capital and Poor Communities
Susan Saegert
Russell Sage Foundation, 2001
Neighborhood support groups have always played a key role in helping the poor survive, but combating poverty requires more than simply meeting the needs of day-to-day subsistence. Social Capital and Poor Communities shows the significant achievements that can be made through collective strategies, which empower the poor to become active partners in revitalizing their neighborhoods. Trust and cooperation among residents and local organizations such as churches, small businesses, and unions form the basis of social capital, which provides access to resources that would otherwise be out of reach to poor families. Social Capital and Poor Communities examines civic initiatives that have built affordable housing, fostered small businesses, promoted neighborhood safety, and increased political participation. At the core of each initiative lie local institutions—church congregations, parent-teacher groups, tenant associations, and community improvement alliances. The contributors explore how such groups build networks of leaders and followers and how the social power they cultivate can be successfully transferred from smaller goals to broader political advocacy. For example, community-based groups often become platforms for leaders hoping to run for local office. Church-based groups and interfaith organizations can lobby for affordable housing, job training programs, and school improvement. Social Capital and Poor Communities convincingly demonstrates why building social capital is so important in enabling the poor to seek greater access to financial resources and public services. As the contributors make clear, this task is neither automatic nor easy. The book's frank discussions of both successes and failures illustrate the pitfalls—conflicts of interest, resistance from power elites, and racial exclusion—that can threaten even the most promising initiatives. The impressive evidence in this volume offers valuable insights into how goal formation, leadership, and cooperation can be effectively cultivated, resulting in a remarkable force for change and a rich public life even for those communities mired in seemingly hopeless poverty. A Volume in the Ford Foundation Series on Asset Building
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Social Inequality in Oaxaca
A History of Resistance and Change
Arthur Murphy
Temple University Press, 1991
"Anthropologists Murphy and Stepick trace urbanization in the capital city of the state of Oaxaca for more than 2,000 years. Their study represents a micro perspective that describes the colonias populares, the poor neighborhoods, and the struggles of Oaxacans to survive and improve life in marginal communities.... The book is well organized, with excellent annotated footnotes and a reading list." --Choice This may be the only book that analyzes the urbanization of one area from its origins more than two thousand years ago to the present. Arthur Murphy and Alex Stepick examine Oaxaca, Mexico, where they have been doing research regularly for the last twenty years. Paying particular attention to neighborhoods, families, and economic activities, they focus on issues of poverty and inequality. Oaxaca is a city marked by socioeconomic inequality that has felt the alternating trends of integration into and isolation from the broader world. It is a city in which tens of thousands of households resolutely try to adapt, to survive and pass on something of themselves to their children. With rich ethnographic material and historical research, Murphy and Stepick describe gender roles, the dynamic nature of households, the importance of compadrazgo (co-godparenthood) as a social institution, class-based political struggles and strikes, and the role of children in redeeming their parents from poverty. Individual life histories emerge from their research, each representing diverse class, familial, and economic structures within Oaxacan society. "Murphy and Stepick catch Oaxaca at a special time in its history. When the illustrious works of theory in the academic disciplines have faded, when Foucault is a footnote and deconstruction derided, books like this one will still be valuable. A portrait of a city during the most difficult period of its country's recent economic history." --Henry A. Selby (from the Foreword)
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They'll Cut Off Your Project
A Mingo County Chronicle
Huey Perry, with a foreword by Jeff Biggers
West Virginia University Press, 2010

In old England, if a king didn’t like you, he would cut off your head. Now, if they don’t like you, they’ll cut off your project!

As the Johnson Administration initiated its war on poverty in the 1960s, the Mingo County Economic Opportunity Commission project was established in southern West Virginia. Huey Perry, a young, local history teacher was named the director of this program and soon he began to promote self-sufficiency among low-income and vulnerable populations. As the poor of Mingo County worked together to improve conditions, the local political infrastructure felt threatened by a shift in power. Bloody Mingo County, known for its violent labor movements, corrupt government, and the infamous Hatfield-McCoy rivalry, met Perry’s revolution with opposition and resistance. 

In They’ll Cut Off Your Project, Huey Perry reveals his efforts to help the poor of an Appalachian community challenge a local regime. He describes this community’s attempts to improve school programs and conditions, establish cooperative grocery stores to bypass inflated prices, and expose electoral fraud. Along the way, Perry unfolds the local authority’s hostile backlash to such change and the extreme measures that led to an eventual investigation by the FBI. They’ll Cut Off Your Project chronicles the triumphs and failures of the war on poverty, illustrating why and how a local government that purports to work for the public’s welfare cuts off a project for social reform.

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Thinking Small
The United States and the Lure of Community Development
Daniel Immerwahr
Harvard University Press, 2014

Winner of the Merle Curti Award in Intellectual History, Organization of American Historians
Co-Winner of the Society for U.S. Intellectual History Book Award

Thinking Small tells the story of how the United States sought to rescue the world from poverty through small-scale, community-based approaches. And it also sounds a warning: such strategies, now again in vogue, have been tried before, with often disastrous consequences.

“Unfortunately, far from eliminating deprivation and attacking the social status quo, bottom-up community development projects often reinforced them…This is a history with real stakes. If that prior campaign’s record is as checkered as Thinking Small argues, then its intellectual descendants must do some serious rethinking… How might those in twenty-first-century development and anti-poverty work forge a better path? They can start by reading Thinking Small.”
—Merlin Chowkwanyun, Boston Review

“As the historian Daniel Immerwahr demonstrates brilliantly in Thinking Small, the history of development has seen constant experimentation with community-based and participatory approaches to economic and social improvement…Immerwahr’s account of these failures should give pause to those who insist that going small is always better than going big.”
—Jamie Martin, The Nation

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Toward Camden
Mercy Romero
Duke University Press, 2021
In Toward Camden, Mercy Romero writes about the relationships that make and sustain the largely African American and Puerto Rican Cramer Hill neighborhood in New Jersey where she grew up. She walks the city and writes outdoors to think about the collapse and transformation of property. She revisits lost and empty houses—her family's house, the Walt Whitman House, and the landscape of a vacant lot. Throughout, Romero engages with the aesthetics of fragment and ruin; her writing juts against idioms of redevelopment. She resists narratives of the city that are inextricable from crime and decline and witnesses everyday lives lived at the intersection of spatial and Puerto Rican diasporic memory. Toward Camden travels between what official reports say and what the city's vacant lots withhold.

Duke University Press Scholars of Color First Book Award recipient
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front cover of Under Construction
Under Construction
Technologies of Development in Urban Ethiopia
Daniel Mains
Duke University Press, 2019
Over the past decade, Ethiopia has had one of the world's fastest growing economies, largely due to its investments in infrastructure, and it is through building dams, roads, and other infrastructure that the Ethiopian state seeks to become a middle-income country by 2025. Yet most urban Ethiopians struggle to meet their daily needs and actively oppose a ruling party that they associate with corruption and mismanagement. In Under Construction Daniel Mains explores the intersection of development and governance by examining the conflicts surrounding the construction of specific infrastructural technologies: asphalt and cobblestone roads, motorcycle taxis, and hydroelectric dams. These projects serve as sites for nation building and the means for the state to assert its legitimacy. The construction process—as well as Ethiopians' experience of living with the disruption of construction zones—reveals the tension and conflict between the promise of progress and the possibility of failure. Mains demonstrates how infrastructures as both ethnographic sites and as a means of theorizing such concepts as progress, development, and the state offer a valuable contrast to accounts of African abjection and decline.
[more]

front cover of The Unreal Estate Guide to Detroit
The Unreal Estate Guide to Detroit
Andrew Herscher
University of Michigan Press, 2012

Intense attention has been paid to Detroit as a site of urban crisis. This crisis, however, has not only yielded the massive devaluation of real estate that has so often been noted; it has also yielded an explosive production of seemingly valueless urban property that has facilitated the imagination and practice of alternative urbanisms. The first sustained study of Detroit’s alternative urban cultures, The Unreal Estate Guide to Detroit initiates a new focus on Detroit as a site not only of urban crisis but also of urban possibility.

The Guide documents art and curatorial practices, community and guerilla gardens, urban farming and forestry, cultural platforms, living archives, evangelical missions, temporary public spaces, intentional communities, furtive monuments, outsider architecture, and other work made possible by the ready availability of urban space in Detroit. The Guide poses these spaces as “unreal estate”: urban territory that has slipped through the free- market economy and entered other regimes of value, other contexts of meaning, and other systems of use. The appropriation of this territory in Detroit, the Guide suggests, offers new perspectives on what a city is and can be, especially in a time of urban crisis.
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Weathering Katrina
Culture and Recovery among Vietnamese Americans
Mark J. VanLandingham
Russell Sage Foundation, 2017

In 2005, Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans. The principal Vietnamese-American enclave was a remote, low-income area that flooded badly. Many residents arrived decades earlier as refugees from the Vietnam War and were marginally fluent in English. Yet, despite these poor odds of success, the Vietnamese made a surprisingly strong comeback in the wake of the flood. In Weathering Katrina, public health scholar Mark VanLandingham analyzes their path to recovery, and examines the extent to which culture helped them cope during this crisis.

Contrasting his longitudinal survey data and qualitative interviews of Vietnamese residents with the work of other research teams, VanLandingham finds that on the principal measures of disaster recovery—housing stability, economic stability, health, and social adaptation—the Vietnamese community fared better than other communities. By Katrina’s one-year anniversary, almost 90 percent of the Vietnamese had returned to their neighborhood, higher than the rate of return for either blacks or whites. They also showed much lower rates of post-traumatic stress disorder than other groups. And by the second year after the flood, the employment rate for the Vietnamese had returned to its pre-Katrina level.

While some commentators initially attributed this resilience to fairly simple explanations such as strong leadership or to a set of vague cultural strengths characteristic of the Vietnamese and other “model minorities”, VanLandingham shows that in fact it was a broad set of factors that fostered their rapid recovery. Many of these factors had little to do with culture. First, these immigrants were highly selected—those who settled in New Orleans enjoyed higher human capital than those who stayed in Vietnam. Also, as a small, tightly knit community, the New Orleans Vietnamese could efficiently pass on information about job leads, business prospects, and other opportunities to one another. Finally, they had access to a number of special programs that were intended to facilitate recovery among immigrants, and enjoyed a positive social image both in New Orleans and across the U.S., which motivated many people and charities to offer the community additional resources. But culture—which VanLandingham is careful to define and delimit—was important, too. A shared history of overcoming previous challenges—and a powerful set of narratives that describe these successes; a shared set of perspectives or frames for interpreting events; and a shared sense of symbolic boundaries that distinguish them from broader society are important elements of culture that provided the Vietnamese with some strong advantages in the post-Katrina environment.

By carefully defining and disentangling the elements that enabled the swift recovery of the Vietnamese in New Orleans, Weathering Katrina enriches our understanding of this understudied immigrant community and of why some groups fare better than others after a major catastrophe like Katrina.

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When Public Housing Was Paradise
BUILDING COMMUNITY IN CHICAGO
J. S. Fuerst, with the assistance of D. Bradford Hunt
University of Illinois Press, 2003
Collecting seventy-nine oral histories from former public housing residents and staff, J. S. Fuerst's When Public Housing Was Paradise is a powerful testament to the fact that well-designed, well-managed low-rent housing has worked, as well as a demonstration of how it could be made to work again.

J. S. Fuerst has been involved with public housing in Chicago for more than half a century. He retired from Loyola University, where he was a professor of social welfare policy. He was the editor of Public Housing in Europe and America. D. Bradford Hunt is an assistant professor of social science at Roosevelt University. John Hope Franklin is James B. Duke Professor Emeritus of History at Duke University. He has served as president of the Organization of American Historians, the American Historical Association, and many more.
 
 
 
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Within Walking Distance
Creating Livable Communities for All
Philip Langdon
Island Press, 2017
For five thousand years, human settlements were nearly always compact places. Everything a person needed on a regular basis lay within walking distance. But then the great project of the twentieth century—sorting people, businesses, and activities into separate zones, scattered across vast metropolises—took hold, exacting its toll on human health, natural resources, and the climate. Living where things were beyond walking distance ultimately became, for many people, a recipe for frustration. As a result, many Americans have begun seeking compact, walkable communities or looking for ways to make their current neighborhood better connected, more self-sufficient, and more pleasurable.

In Within Walking Distance, journalist and urban critic Philip Langdon looks at why and how Americans are shifting toward a more human-scale way of building and living. He shows how people are creating, improving, and caring for walkable communities. There is no one-size-fits-all approach. Starting conditions differ radically, as do the attitudes and interests of residents. To draw the most important lessons, Langdon spent time in six communities that differ in size, history, wealth, diversity, and education, yet share crucial traits: compactness, a mix of uses and activities, and human scale. The six are Center City Philadelphia; the East Rock section of New Haven, Connecticut; Brattleboro, Vermont; the Little Village section of Chicago; the Pearl District in Portland, Oregon; and the Cotton District in Starkville, Mississippi. In these communities, Langdon examines safe, comfortable streets; sociable sidewalks; how buildings connect to the public realm; bicycling; public transportation; and incorporation of nature and parks into city or town life. In all these varied settings, he pays special attention to a vital ingredient: local commitment.

To improve conditions and opportunities for everyone, Langdon argues that places where the best of life is within walking distance ought to be at the core of our thinking. This book is for anyone who wants to understand what can be done to build, rebuild, or improve a community while retaining the things that make it distinctive.
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Working Together for Change
Collaborative Change Research, Evaluation, and Design, Volume 5
Edited by Lisa M. Vaughn, Sara Neyer, and Kathie Maynard
University of Cincinnati Press, 2023

Strategies for engaging key stakeholders—evaluators, researchers, and designers—to discuss frameworks for promoting collaborative change.

Collaborative Change Research, Evaluation, and Design (CCRED) is a framework and collection of participatory practices that engage people and the systems around them to drive community outcomes. This framework emerged out of the recognition that deep participation (or engagement) is frequently missing in collaborative impact approaches. When collaborative change is implemented effectively, community members are viewed as valuable owners and experts instead of being seen as disinterested or unqualified partners.

CCRED is a social action process with dual goals of collective empowerment and the deepening of social knowledge. Executed successfully, CCRED has the potential to increase the rigor, reach, and relevance of research, evaluation, and design translated to meaningful action. Written in an easily accessible, narrative style, Working Together for Change, the fourth volume in the Interdisciplinary Community Engaged Research for Health series edited by Farrah Jacquez and Lela Svedin brings together evaluators, researchers, and designers to describe collaborative change by describing their own work in the space.

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