Friday, March 09, 2007

more East Liberty

a master's thesis from MIT really worth a look:

East of Liberty: Reclaiming Main Street.

By Nathalie M. Westervelt
Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
February 2006

I am unclear if this is directly related to the East of Liberty documentary, the promo of which is available on youtube. Also worth watching.

Anyone remember Mannesmann's?

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the forties, fifties, and sixties, redevelopment authorities were used to take the redevelopment process out of the hands of politicians and the political process, and into the hands of redevelopment professionals. This wasn't an entirely bad thing, but significant market and social failures tainted all large-scale efforts, and community development shifted to small scale projects initiated by grassroots neighborhood leadership.
In the paper,a CDC was identified as the driver of the redevelopment process. So how did ELDI, a relatively undistinguished CDC, change the stakes so significantly?
They didn't. The Home Depot on the Sears site was brokered by the city, something the Murphy administration routinely took credit for. The rest was driven by private and non-profit developers newly savvy to the largely unregulated process of CDC redevelopment. The developers brought the deals, and the CDC provided a veneer of community consent and served as a conduit for public and philanthropic funds.
Missing in this process is an understanding of who controls the redevelopment process, and assures that public benefits are acheived? So much of the redevelopment process is about removing blight, and as Ms Westervelt shows, removing blight from an area is not the same as helping the poor. The current redevelopment process may make it easier to get around paralyzing public debate, but it does so by pushing critical public functions onto organizations like CDCs that are ill-equiped to handle them.
Urban areas are seeing both renewed market interest in some sectors, and continued decline in others. It's important that the city's development processes catch up to these changes, and that public benefit is maximized for public investments.

Monday, March 12, 2007 9:50:00 AM  

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