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    Contributors | September 15, 2015

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Other titles in the Historical Studies of Urban America series:

Purging the Poorest: Public Housing and the Design Politics of Twice-Cleared Communities (Historical Studies of Urban America)


Purging the Poorest: Public Housing and the Design Politics of Twice-Cleared Communities (Historical Studies of Urban America) Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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. Inand#160;Purging the Poorest, Lawrence J. Vale offers a new narrative of the seventy-five-year struggle to house the andldquo;deserving poor.andrdquo;

In the 1930s, two iconic American cities, Atlanta and Chicago, demolished their slums and established some of this countryandrsquo;s first public housing. Six decades later, these same cities also led the way in clearing public housing itself. Valeandrsquo;s groundbreaking history of these andldquo;twice-clearedandrdquo; communities provides unprecedented detail about the development, decline, and redevelopment of two of Americaandrsquo;s most famous housing projects: Chicagoandrsquo;s Cabrini-Green and Atlantaandrsquo;s Techwood /Clark Howell Homes. Vale offers the novel concept ofand#160;design politicsand#160;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.

About the Author

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.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations



1. Public Housing, Design Politics, and Twice-Cleared Communities

2. Public Housing and Private Initiative: Developing Atlantaand#8217;s Techwood and Clark Howell Homes

3. Redeveloping Techwood and Clark Howell: The Purges of Progress

4. Up from Little Hell: Developing Chicagoand#8217;s Frances Cabrini Homes

5. Urban Renewal and the Rise of Cabrini-Green

6. Staving Off Collapse: Mediated Violence and the Beginning of Cabriniand#8217;s End

7. Bringing the Gold Coast to the Slum: Cabrini-Greenand#8217;s Redevelopment and the Litigation of Inclusion

8. Conclusion: Public Housing and the Margins of Empathy




Product Details

Vale, Lawrence J.
University of Chicago Press
United States - 20th Century
Architecture-Urban Planning
Edition Description:
Historical Studies of Urban America
Publication Date:
63 halftones, 6 line drawings
9 x 6 in

Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Architecture » Urban Planning
History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » Sociology » Urban Studies » General
History and Social Science » US History » 20th Century » General

Purging the Poorest: Public Housing and the Design Politics of Twice-Cleared Communities (Historical Studies of Urban America) New Trade Paper
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Product details 448 pages University of Chicago Press - English 9780226012452 Reviews:
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