By Sudhir Venkatesh, William Julius Wilson
High-rise public housing advancements have been signature positive aspects of the post–World battle II urban. A hopeful test in supplying transitority, reasonably cheap housing for all americans, the "projects" quickly grew to become synonymous with the black city terrible, with isolation and overcrowding, with medicinal drugs, gang violence, and overlook. because the wrecking ball brings down a few of these concrete monoliths, Sudhir Venkatesh seeks to reexamine public housing from the interior out, and to salvage its stricken legacy. according to approximately a decade of fieldwork in Chicago's Robert Taylor houses, American undertaking is the 1st complete tale of lifestyle in an American public housing advanced. Venkatesh attracts on his relationships with tenants, gang participants, cops, and native corporations to provide an intimate portrait of an inner-city group that newshounds and the general public have purely considered from a distance. hard the traditional thought of public housing as a failure, this startling booklet re-creates tenants' thirty-year attempt to construct a secure and safe local: their political battles for companies from an detached urban forms, their day-by-day disagreement with entrenched poverty, their painful judgements approximately even if to paintings with or opposed to the road gangs whose drug dealing either sustained and imperiled their lives. American venture explores the elemental query of what makes a neighborhood attainable. In his chronicle of tenants' political and private struggles to create a good position to reside, Venkatesh brings us to the center of the subject. (20010114)
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Extra info for American Project: The Rise and Fall of a Modern Ghetto
Their logic—that of “abstract space”—runs counter to that of the people who live in the space and who may value a particular territory for reasons that have little to do with its planning or economic development potential, but that have more to do with their connectedness to it. This antagonism surfaced in the history of postwar urban renewal: whereas the city saw little of value in the ghetto except its potential for development, those living there had homes, support systems, and peer and kin networks that could not be easily replaced or recreated in a newly built territory.
In the surrounding neighborhoods, schools, libraries, job training programs, park department facilities, and social services were overcrowded and ~scally strapped. 24 Agencies Ex a m and youth centers, public and private, were claimed by a local youth population or were ~lled to capacity and so were inaccessible to most younger residents of Robert Taylor. Mayor Daley’s successful construction of a freeway next to the housing development effectively cut off tenants from the wealth of services in the neighboring white working-class communities to the west.
Robert Taylor’s vastness and newness seemed to overshadow all of the earlier political debates regarding its design and site selection. Mayor Daley and the city’s black leaders heralded its November 1962 opening as a step toward the eradication of slum housing throughout Chicago. At the ribbon-cutting ceremony, political leaders and CHA directors beamed with optimism, and at successive news conferences they con~dently rebuffed critics who charged that the agency was relocating black slum evictees within the ghetto.
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