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When Tenants Claimed the CityThe Struggle for Citizenship in New York City Housing$
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Roberta Gold

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780252038181

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252038181.001.0001

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“To Plan Our Own Community”

“To Plan Our Own Community”

Government, Grassroots, and Local Development

(p.211) 7 “To Plan Our Own Community”
When Tenants Claimed the City

Roberta Gold

University of Illinois Press

This chapter examines the democratically planned state-sponsored projects that became possible due to the new banner of cooperation between government and grassroots organizers. It first provides an overview of the battle over community control of housing development before discussing a number of New York's War on Poverty initiatives such as the Upper Park Avenue Community Association (UPACA), along with their significance for community-based housing activism. It also considers efforts to involve African Americans in economic development, the involvement of women in grassroots development planning, and the creation of community development corporations (CDCs). Finally, it describes Model Cities, an urban initiative designed to engage “the community” by inviting neighborhood participation in planning and attacking many problems at once. The successful projects showed not only that democratic state-sponsored urban renewal was possible, but that New York's tenant history made a difference.

Keywords:   community control, housing, housing development, War on Poverty, housing activism, economic development, women, grassroots development planning, Model Cities, urban renewal

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