By Sudhir Venkatesh, William Julius Wilson
High-rise public housing advancements have been signature beneficial properties of the post–World conflict II urban. A hopeful test in offering transitority, low-cost housing for all americans, the "projects" quickly grew to become synonymous with the black city terrible, with isolation and overcrowding, with medications, gang violence, and forget. 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. in response to approximately a decade of fieldwork in Chicago's Robert Taylor houses, American venture is the 1st complete tale of way of life in an American public housing complicated. Venkatesh attracts on his relationships with tenants, gang participants, law enforcement officials, and native businesses to provide an intimate portrait of an inner-city group that newshounds and the general public have purely seen from a distance. hard the normal inspiration 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 prone from an detached urban forms, their day-by-day disagreement with entrenched poverty, their painful judgements approximately no matter if to paintings with or opposed to the road gangs whose drug dealing either sustained and imperiled their lives. American undertaking explores the elemental query of what makes a group achievable. In his chronicle of tenants' political and private struggles to create an honest position to dwell, Venkatesh brings us to the guts of the subject. (20010114)
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Additional resources for American Project: The Rise and Fall of a Modern Ghetto
My range was the thirteenth and ~fteenth _oor, and I better not get past it. And sometimes it was just the fourteenth _oor. ” m Some of the Mama’s Ma~as became formal tenant groups, such as “Mothers on the Move against Slums” (MOMS), that worked in conjunction with “suburban housewives” to create social programs, but many simply remained peer groups. In either case, cooperation with one another brought tenants into contact with numerous agencies, many of which were ostensibly responsible for providing the services that Mama’s Ma~as were providing.
45 The institutions that make up the Ex a m state are forever concerned with managing space, planning and re-zoning, ef~cient and rational usage of territories, and so on. 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.
The Housing Authority inundated tenants with mailings and communiqués that promised construction of parks, playgrounds, schools, free dental clinics, and recreational centers. In one letter to the incoming tenants, CHA Executive Director Alvin E. Rose personally thanked them for “making our communities the most beautiful in the whole city. ”2 Building a community in Robert Taylor did not end with the construction of the twenty-eight high-rises, the _ower beds, and the laundry rooms. Having moved into the city’s densest residential neighborhood, tenants had no choice but to work cooperatively with Copyright © 2000 The President and Fellows of Harvard College A P l a c e t o C a l l H o m e Η 1 5 Co py one another and to learn to live as neighbors in close proximity.
American Project: The Rise and Fall of a Modern Ghetto by Sudhir Venkatesh, William Julius Wilson