Wednesday, February 21, 2007

on neighborhood development

Way way too much stuff to comment on. Luke Ravenstahl appoints Pat Ford as 'Development Czar'... Bill Peduto plans to study neighborhood development.... Neighborhood and preservationists battle over a post-arena Hill District. The theme sure seems to be neighborhoods and economic development.

Unfortunately Roger Ahlbrandt passed away some years ago.. If the question is how do communities and neighborhoods, and in particular Pittsburgh neighborhoods and communties, fit into economic development plans, here is just a small sample of Professor Ahlbrandt’s writings one ought to read (in no order):

Neighborhoods, People, and Community (Environment, Development, and Public Policy Cities and Development). Book
By Roger Ahlbrandt

Public-Private Partnerships for Neighborhood Renewal
Roger Ahlbrandt, Jr.
The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science,
Vol. 488, No. 1, 120-134 (1986)

Pittsburgh Residents Assess their Neighborhoods.
Roger Ahlbrandt and James V. Cunningham. School of Social Work and University Center for Social and Urban Research, University of Pittsburgh. December 1980
Scanned at:

Factors Affecting Economic Growth in Pittsburgh and Allegheny County.
University Center for Social and Urban Research. University of Pittsburgh. Roger Ahlbrandt, James DeAngelis, Frank Giarratani, Edwin Wells, Donald Goldstein. 1984
Scanned at:

A Cry for Leadership.
Roger S. Ahlbrandt Jr. Associate Provost. University of Pittsburgh. Presented at the Joint Ventures in Housing and Economic Development Conferernce. Co-Sponsored by U.S. Deparment of HUD and ACTION-Housing, Inc. October 23, 1984.
Scanned at:

The Role of the Corporation in Community Economic Development.
Morton Coleman and Roger Ahlbrandt. University of Pittsburgh. 1987
Scanned at:

Management: An Important Element of the Housing Environment
Environment and Behavior, Vol. 8, No. 4, 505-526 (1976)
Roger S. Ahlbrandt, Jr., School of Social Work, University of Pittsburgh and Paul C. Brophy. ACTION-Housing, Inc.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

So you must have a comment on the Development Czar....

Wednesday, February 21, 2007 1:13:00 PM  
Blogger C. Briem said...

I really don't. Either on Pat or the concept for that matter. Strong mayor governments have as a perogative how they organize themsleves to a degree. I will be curious how this position interacts with the URA since historically it was the exec director and chairman there which was the nexus of applying development policies. So I am unclear the division of labor here. but it gets to some interesting questions of why the URA was formed as a distinct government entity, though one clearly tied to the city executive branch.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007 2:22:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chris, which of his ideas do you find best?

Thursday, February 22, 2007 1:54:00 AM  
Blogger C. Briem said...

There are a lot of things.. but the most important is that I would challenge anyone to find someone who really talked about there being a role for neighborhoods at all when it came to economic development before his writings. What seems to be evolving from 'new' and novel to common wisdom is something he was preaching long before it sounded fashionable. The idea that what was happening in small communities and neighborhoods themselves mattered, and was a partner (an even more revolutionary idea) in the process is not something that people really thought about in the way we might be doing a little better at today....

Thursday, February 22, 2007 8:31:00 AM  

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