House by House, Block by Block: The Rebirth of America's Urban Neighborhoods by Alexander Von HoffmanHouse by House, Block by Block: The Rebirth of America's Urban Neighborhoods by Alexander Von Hoffman

House by House, Block by Block: The Rebirth of America's Urban Neighborhoods

byAlexander Von Hoffman

Paperback | August 26, 2004

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Not long ago, neighborhoods such as the South Bronx, South Central Los Angeles, and Boston's Roxbury were crime-ridden wastelands of vacant lots and burned-out buildings, notorious symbols of urban decay. In House by House, Block by Block, Alexander von Hoffman tells the remarkable stories ofhow local activists and community groups helped turn these areas around. For sixty years, federal policy has attempted with little success to solve the problems of housing and poverty in America's inner cities. Yet increasingly, local organizations are picking up where Washington has left off. In a series of dramatic and colorful narratives, von Hoffman shows howthese groups are revitalizing once desperate neighborhoods in five major cities: New York, Boston, Chicago, Atlanta, and Los Angeles. The unlikely heroes include: the tough-talking Bronx priest who made apartment buildings for low-income people glisten in the midst of ruins and despair; the "crazywhite man" who scrambled to save Chicago's historic Black Metropolis from the wrecking ball; the Boston cops who built a task force that put the brakes on youth gangs. Thanks to locally-based, bootstrap efforts like these, in inner-city neighborhoods across the country, crime rates are falling, realestate values are rising, and businesses are returning. Von Hoffman also shows that grass-roots work can't do it alone: successful revitalization needs the support of local government and access to business and foundation capital. Based on years of research and more than a hundred interviews, this book is the first systematic account of the dramatic urban revival now going on in the United States. House by House, Block by Block will be a must-read for anyone who cares about the fate of America's cities.
Alexander von Hoffman is a senior research fellow at the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University and he teaches at Harvard's Graduate School of Design. He has written for The Boston Globe, the Atlantic Monthly, and The New York Times and is the author of Local Attachments: The Making of an American Urban Neighborhood.
Title:House by House, Block by Block: The Rebirth of America's Urban NeighborhoodsFormat:PaperbackDimensions:320 pages, 5.98 × 9.09 × 1.5 inPublished:August 26, 2004Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195176146

ISBN - 13:9780195176148

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Editorial Reviews

"This book arrives at the perfect time, just as faith in the American city is being renewed and governments and foundations are trumpeting the rebirth of the metropolis. Von Hoffman's research reminds us of a valuable lesson: it is the tireless work of those unsung heroes at thegrassroots--residents, community builders, block club leaders and the like--who will ultimately determine whether our policies and prescriptions work or fail. House by House, Block by Block is required reading, for both participants in and observers of the revitalizing of the American city."--SudhirVenkatesh, author of American Project: the Rise and Fall of a Modern Ghetto, and Associate Professor of Sociology, Columbia University