Purging The Poorest: Public Housing And The Design Politics Of Twice-cleared Communities

Paperback | April 15, 2013

byLawrence J. Vale

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The building and management of public housing is often seen as a signal failure of American public policy, but this is a vastly oversimplified view. In Purging the Poorest, Lawrence J. Vale offers a new narrative of the seventy-five-year struggle to house the “deserving poor.”

In the 1930s, two iconic American cities, Atlanta and Chicago, demolished their slums and established some of this country’s first public housing. Six decades later, these same cities also led the way in clearing public housing itself. Vale’s groundbreaking history of these “twice-cleared” communities provides unprecedented detail about the development, decline, and redevelopment of two of America’s most famous housing projects: Chicago’s Cabrini-Green and Atlanta’s Techwood /Clark Howell Homes. Vale offers the novel concept of design politics to show how issues of architecture and urbanism are intimately bound up in thinking about policy. Drawing from extensive archival research and in-depth interviews, Vale recalibrates the larger cultural role of public housing, revalues the contributions of public housing residents, and reconsiders the role of design and designers.

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The building and management of public housing is often seen as a signal failure of American public policy, but this is a vastly oversimplified view. In Purging the Poorest, Lawrence J. Vale offers a new narrative of the seventy-five-year struggle to house the “deserving poor.”In the 1930s, two iconic American cities, Atlanta and Chic...

Lawrence J. Vale is the Ford Professor of Urban Design and Planning at MIT. His many books include three prize-winning volumes: Architecture, Power, and National Identity; From the Puritans to the Projects: Public Housing and Public Neighbors;and Reclaiming Public Housing: A Half Century of Struggle in Three Public Neighborhoods.

other books by Lawrence J. Vale

Public Housing Myths: Perception, Reality, and Social Policy
Public Housing Myths: Perception, Reality, and Social P...

Kobo ebook|Mar 26 2015

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see all books by Lawrence J. Vale
Format:PaperbackDimensions:448 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.2 inPublished:April 15, 2013Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022601245X

ISBN - 13:9780226012452

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Preface
Acknowledgments

1. Public Housing, Design Politics, and Twice-Cleared Communities
2. Public Housing and Private Initiative: Developing Atlanta’s Techwood and Clark Howell Homes
3. Redeveloping Techwood and Clark Howell: The Purges of Progress
4. Up from Little Hell: Developing Chicago’s Frances Cabrini Homes
5. Urban Renewal and the Rise of Cabrini-Green
6. Staving Off Collapse: Mediated Violence and the Beginning of Cabrini’s End
7. Bringing the Gold Coast to the Slum: Cabrini-Green’s Redevelopment and the Litigation of Inclusion
8. Conclusion: Public Housing and the Margins of Empathy

Notes
Credits
Index

Editorial Reviews

“Through meticulous archival research and in-depth interviewing Vale examines the nexus between architectural design and the politics which undergirded the initial development of public housing, its subsequent deterioration, destruction and finally reinvention. . . . This is a great book and one that I wish the designers and advocates for mixed income public housing transformation policies would read.”