Place, People, and Power in City Building in Postwar America
Seiten 135 - 150
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When urban studies scholars examine issues such as the public versus
private in cities, boundary making and breaking, and how democratic
citizenship is reinforced or undermined, they tend to avoid the agency
of individuals. Instead, they attribute these characteristics to urban
environments in general, as circumscribed by place and time. This essay
argues for the importance of investigating agency in city building and
city living and does so through probing the career of a pivotal figure
in American urban renewal in the second half of the twentieth century,
Edward J. Logue. Through tracing Logue’s shifting strategies of urban
redevelopment from New Haven in the 1950s to Boston in the 1960s to New
York State and New York City in the 1970s and 1980s, new insights
emerge. Urban renewal becomes a more improvisational and evolutionary
approach to keeping post-World War II cities viable. Urban redevelopers
have more complex and varied interactions with ordinary residents. And
the concepts of the “public” and “boundaries” take on new significance.
Rather than dismissing urban renewal, and urban renewers, with one
condemning brush, this essay suggests that there is a great deal to be
learned from both its successes and failures.
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11 ---. Letter to Doug Ensinger. 15 Jan. 1955. Edward J. Logue Papers. Series 4, Box 25, Folder 43. Yale University Library Manuscripts and Archives, New Haven, CT. Print.
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