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  1. Comeback Cities: A Blueprint for Urban Neighborhood Revival By Paul S. Grogan & Tony Proscio A report by: Jessica Dunne, Courtney Kissinger, & Colin McCormack

  2. Introduction • American Cities are making a comeback • Four distinct trends are responsible: • Grassroots Revitalization Movements. • Rebirth of Functioning Private Markets • Dropping Crime Rates • Disconnection from Public Bureaucracies

  3. The South Bronx: From the Bottom Up Decline began in 1960s • Robert Moses seized properties for expressways. • Welfare recipients were stuck in the remains. • 1967 – Decade of arsons began • Most buildings were not restored, leaving tracts of rubble • 300,000 left the neighborhood • Roughly 3/5 of population

  4. The South Bronx: From the Bottom Up South Bronx at its worst • Unemployment as high as 85% • Chances of natural death – 5% • One block had 34 murders in a single year. • “Many city services taken for granted elsewhere in New York, such as police protection, garbage collection, [and] some semblance of civil order, could not be predicted with certainty…” – New York Times

  5. The South Bronx: From the Bottom Up President Carter Comes to Town • In 1977, Jimmy Carter led a much-publicized federal visit. • He declared a desire to fund urban renewal • Carter visited a building that had been recently renovated by a nonprofit group. • People’s Development Corporation • Carter left office before sending significant aid.

  6. The South Bronx: From the Bottom Up • After Carter, no presidents visited for 20 years. • “The place was politically toxic.” • Some presidential contenders visited. • In 1997, Bill Clinton visited the South Bronx neighborhood Carter had visited, find a far different neighborhood.

  7. The South Bronx: From the Bottom Up The New Bronx • Area had been widely renovated by community groups, with funding from City and Federal Authorities. • Crime was considerably lower • Shootings down by 66% • Robberies and Assaults down 50% • Property values were dramatically higher

  8. The South Bronx: From the Bottom Up Community Groups Make the Difference • Several nonprofit community groups took it upon themselves to renovate the South Bronx. • Using over $1 billion in city funds, groups turned the South Bronx into a safe, thriving neighborhood where lower-class persons could live in relative peace.

  9. The South Bronx: From the Bottom Up Take Home Lesson • The South Bronx should serve as an example to naysayers that urban renewal is, with the right elements, possible and worthwhile.

  10. Urban Doom Four Waves of Urban Doom • Middle-Class Flight • Evaporation of Inner-City Jobs and Businesses • Outward-Creeping Blight • Social Implosion

  11. Urban Doom Middle-Class Flight • The appealing features of suburbia (newer facilities, lower cost amenities, etc.) draw the middle-class out of cities. • Urban dwellers end up subsidizing suburban amenities. • Race also plays a part, with whites leaving nonwhite neighborhoods.

  12. Urban Doom Evaporation of Inner-City Jobs and Businesses • As an industry becomes more mobile, it will relocate to where higher-skilled workers are. • Combined with Middle-Class Flight, this means jobs head to suburbia • This results in a growing disparity which makes it hard for city dwellers to find good jobs they can easily get to.

  13. Urban Doom Outward-Creeping Blight • Marginal communities between urban areas and suburbs gradually succumb to urban blight. • A slowly decreasing property tax base forces cities to choose between decreasing services or increasing taxes. • Either option expedites Middle-Class Flight

  14. Urban Doom Social Implosion • Middle-Class Flight causes demand for middle and high income housing to decrease while demand for low income housing increases • New lower-class residents require more social assistance and can pay less for it. • Cities must raise taxes to pay for increased services. • Increased taxes cause more Middle-Class Flight, thus starting the cycle anew.

  15. Four Hopeful Trends • The Grassroots Revival • Community Development Corporations • Emerging Markets • The Revitalization of Urban Economies • Public Order • How Cities are Lowering Crime Rates • Deregulating the City • Separating from Monopolistic Bureaucracies

  16. The Grassroots Revival

  17. The Rise of CDCs • Community Development Corporations (CDC) are private organizations, composed of concerned citizens, which take urban renewal into their own hands. • CDCs are typically born from community dissatisfaction • Successful CDCs are adept at working diplomatically with governments and private organizations

  18. The Rise of CDCs • CDCs are free or many of the restrictive procedures which governments suffer from. • This makes them more adaptable and thus better able to initiate urban renewal. • CDCs still require investment, both from governments and private organizations. • CDCs also require committed individuals and strong leadership to be successful.

  19. The Rise of CDCs • CDCs are successful at a variety of functions for four reasons: • They are true public-private hybrids • They become recognized anchors in their community • They live amid the consequences of their work • They embrace American values transcending political ideology.

  20. The Rise of CDCs • CDCs have been successful all across the country, but have not been the subject of a federal replication program. • A lack of federal support • Helped CDCs develop creative fundraising practices • Freed CDCs from cumbersome political restrictions • Forced CDCs to start with smaller projects, which allowed them to build momentum • CDCs were also relatively obscure in their early years, preventing overwhelming expectations.

  21. The Rise of CDCs Take Home Lessons • CDCs are a powerful tool in Urban Renewal • CDCs are proof that renewal programs do not require, and may in fact be harmed by, massive federal support.

  22. Four Hopeful Trends • The Grassroots Revival • Community Development Corporations • Emerging Markets • The Revitalization of Urban Economies • Public Order • How Cities are Lowering Crime Rates • Deregulating the City • Separating from Monopolistic Bureaucracies

  23. Emerging Markets

  24. Keys to Market Rebirth • Renewed Housing • Flow of Capital • Retail Revival • New Populations

  25. Capital Flow and Housing Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) 1977 • Requires every bank to meet: “The credit needs of it’s entire community, including low and moderate income neighborhoods, consistent with the safe and sound operation of such institutions” • Anti-redlining strategy • Citizen participation in monitoring bank loans • 1990’s surge of mergers

  26. Overall Results • Improved relationship between banks and communities • Low-income lending increase • Banks have benefited from investment

  27. Credit Flow • Community re-investment is the key to the economic mainstreaming of minorities and working class

  28. Retail Revival Inner City Business Growth • Michael Porter and the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City • Incentives for urban investment • Pedestrian traffic • Large social magnets • Saturation in suburban markets • Example: Harlem 1995, Pathmark supermarket

  29. Helping Retail Revival • Attract Business • Immigrant populations (Federal level) • Working age citizens and flow of goods and money • Attention to public safety (Local level)

  30. Take Home Lesson • Migration brings capital, capital funds housing, and the residency brought by housing supports a healthier, more vibrant retail market.

  31. Four Hopeful Trends • The Grassroots Revival • Community Development Corporations • Emerging Markets • The Revitalization of Urban Economies • Public Order • How Cities are Lowering Crime Rates • Deregulating the City • Separating from Monopolistic Bureaucracies

  32. Public Order

  33. Public Safety Crime in Cities • Youth crime boom in 1980’s • New Strategies found results in: • Boston (61.2% fall in homicide rate) • New York (58.7% fall in homicide rate) • Main new goal: Reduce people’s fear of residential and business investment.

  34. Public Safety BrokenWindows • Phillip Zinbardo 1969 study • George Kelling and James Q. Wilson 1980’s application • Physical disorder= crime or flight • Broken Windows applied literally to housing

  35. Police Strategies • Community Policing • Builds connections between police and residents • “Order Maintenance” Policing • Concentrates on crimes of menace • “Problem Oriented” Policing • Concentrated on crimes that reach a critical mass

  36. New York Police • 1986 Ed Koch • $4.2 Billion to ten years of housing building and renovation • 1990’s Bratton and Giuliani • Precinct accountability • Harsh policing of subway system • Commitment to petty crimes led to: • Bigger criminals • Safety on subway • Appearance of safety on streets

  37. New York Police • New Technology • Compstat- Increased communication with neighborhood residents • Bad publicity • Cases of excessive force- Led to mistrust from minority communities

  38. Boston Police • Police-Community partnership • Ten-Point Coalition • Focus on youth • Incorporated all levels of community • Zero-tolerance applied to criminals and police force

  39. Take Home Lessons • CDC’s working with police- key to future of community policing • Broken Windows • Works in both directions • Disorder=cause and symptom • Shows what will not be tolerated • Shows that someone “cares what happens”

  40. Four Hopeful Trends • The Grassroots Revival • Community Development Corporations • Emerging Markets • The Revitalization of Urban Economies • Public Order • How Cities are Lowering Crime Rates • Deregulating the City • Separating from Monopolistic Bureaucracies

  41. Deregulating the City

  42. Most of you are afraid of our neighborhood. But did you know? So are we. But we are here, you see Not because we want to be. -Anonymous resident 1981: Mayor Jane Byrne moves in to improve the neighborhood 1 year after Mayor Byrne left Homicides decreased by 25% Aggravated battery decreased by 40% Robberies decreased by 75% The Fall (and Rise) of Public Housing The Cabrini Green Experiment

  43. The Fall (and Rise) of Public Housing The History of Public Housing • 1930s: New Deal legislation • Aimed to relieve Depression homelessness • 1940s: Housing Act of 1949 • Used as a slum improvement program • 1950s: Le Corbusier creates “vertical neighborhoods” • Increased amount of apartments in each public housing complex • 1980s: Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (1981) • Created priority categories for tenants • Rent must be 30% of tenant income

  44. The Fall (and Rise) of Public Housing The Problems with Public Housing • Units are poorly managed • “The Projects” are isolated from the rest of the city • Blind housing assignments give tenants no choice in where they live • Families pay almost 50% of their income in rent

  45. The Fall (and Rise) of Public Housing The Solution: Demolition • HUD Hope IV (1995) • Demolished 100,000 units • This is 7% of the 1.4 million units • Congressional viability test • Complexes cannot have more than 10% of their units vacant or they will be demolished • Complexes with more than 10% vacant units must prove that renovation and operation of the units is financially viable

  46. The Fall (and Rise) of Public Housing The Solution: Rebuilding • Replace demolished units with mixed income and mixed use developments • Neighborhood improvements such as parks, new businesses etc. • Involvement of community organizations, private developers, and nonprofits

  47. The Fall (and Rise) of Public Housing Take Home Lesson • It is urgent that the deconcentration of poverty and social problems in public housing take place.

  48. The Schoolhouse Door Opens…a Crack The Problems with Public Schools • Discrepancies between city schools and suburban schools are too large • City families are fed up and favor alternatives

  49. The Schoolhouse Door Opens…a Crack Community Based Schooling: Charter Schools • Publicly funded and accountable but independently run • Small classes and personal attention targets “difficult” students • Students attending free up space in overcrowded public schools • Difficult application process makes it a slow growing movement

  50. The Schoolhouse Door Opens…a Crack Private Subsidization: Vouchers • Experiments are dissimilar and small • Milwaukee and Cleveland • There is conflicting data about success rate • It is too soon to gauge results