Between Eminence and Notoriety: Four Decades of Radical Urban Planning / Edition 1

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In a career that spanned America’s turbulent journey from urban renewal through the Civil Rights movement, the Vietnam War, and the ever-widening economic chasm that engulfed whole populations of the United States, Chester Hartman has worked tirelessly with grassroots activists and progressive planners to bring about meaningful social change. This is an anthology of his most important writings.

Following a brief foreword by Jane Jacobs, a compelling autobiographical essay by Hartman contextualizes his work, reveals his motivations and perspective, and focuses on the frailty and foibles of the planning and policy professions. The essay sets the stage for the anthology of Hartman’s writings, organized into five parts: displacement and urban renewal; housing problems and policies; organizing and activism; poverty and race; and planning education.

The thirty-two chapters accompany Hartman through four decades of planning and activism for social equity. Now director of research at the Washington, DC-based Poverty & Race Research Action Council, Hartman chronicles his work from a focus on gentrification and displacement to public and military-family housing; from interactions with Daniel Patrick Moynihan and James Q. Wilson to Paul Davidoff and Harvey Milk; to his founding of the Planners Network. Students, practitioners, historians, and political activists will find these essays informative, delightful, and inspiring.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“[A] valuable account of key aspects of US urban development from the historical point of view of a self-described “radical houser” and “engaged insider,” one who has placed predominant emphasis on the fundamental forces of race and class, and who has maintained faith in strategies of advocacy planning and of networking with influential individuals… [T]he book speaks to the credibility, necessity and viability of radical urban planning.” —Ian Skelton, Canadian Journal of Urban Research “This exciting book tells the life story of an academic city planner and political activist who struck a balance in his career between the eminence of a Harvard professor and innovator in urban studies, and the notoriety of a radical political gadfly buzzing conservative, academic and government officialdom. Its author chronicles the resistance of several communities in Boston and San Francisco to the destruction of working-class neighborhoods to clear land for “higher uses” in Urban Renewal projects. In the process he shows that scholarship in the halls of academia and activism in the political struggles outside them can mix; indeed, that scholarship and social activity are mutually enriching… Between Eminence and Notoriety, by an eminent radical organizer, teacher and writer, is an excellent reference work for students of the history of the stormy 1960s and 1970s and for progressive social activists in the movements for peace and civil rights, and in community organizing and urban affairs, who are aware of the broader social and political dimensions of their special activity fields. It is also a trumpet call to progressive teachers and thinkers to get out and relish the mind-and-soul stirring life outside their ivory walls.” —Morris Zeitlin, Science & Society “[Hartman] takes us through his journey as planner, professor, social analyst, good cause organizer, advocate for the poor, elderly and minorities, and to his present work, the Poverty & Race Research Action Council. He enjoys poking at arrogance and hypocrisy, and does it well.” —Social Policy “[V]aluable and provocative.” —Michael W. Homel, Planning Perspectives “Hartman's autobiographical essay is alone worth the price of the book.” —P. Order, E. P. Clapp Distinguished Professor of Politics, Occidental College “A rare critical voice within the urban planning profession.” —R. Gratz, The Nation “Offers a critical perspective on important housing policy issues.” —K. Reardon, Shelterforce
Hartman (an urban planning activist and consultant) chronicles his life work in helping to move the urban planning field toward achieving social and socioeconomic equity for minority populations. He discusses displacement and urban renewal, housing problems and housing policies, the importance of community organizing and political activism, the intersection between poverty and race, and planning education. Hartman's work in San Francisco is discussed in detail. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780882851723
  • Publisher: CUPR/Transaction
  • Publication date: 1/28/2002
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 420

Meet the Author

Chester W. Hartman is director of research at the Poverty & Race Research Action Council, and is the founder and former chair of the Planners Network. He serves/has served on the editorial boards of the Journal of Urban Affairs, Housing Policy Debate, and the Journal of Negro Education. His books include There Is No Such Thing as a Natural Disaster,Mandate for Change, and The Integration Debate. Jane Jacobs was an urban writer and activist most famously known for her community-center approach to urban planning. Some of her well-known writings include The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Cities and the Wealth of Nations, and The Nature of Economies.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Between Eminence and Notoriety: Four Decades of Radical Urban Planning 1
Pt. 1 Displacement and Urban Renewal
1 Social Values and Housing Orientations 59
2 The Housing of Relocated Families 74
3 Omissions in Evaluating Relocation Effectiveness Cited 105
4 Displacement: A Not So New Problem 109
5 The Right to Stay Put 120
6 San Francisco's International Hotel: Case Study of a Turf Struggle 134
7 San Francisco's Neighborhoods: Who Pays for Change? 144
8 The Illusion and Reality of Urban Renewal: A Case Study of San Francisco's Yerba Buena Center 147
9 Designing for the Elderly: A User Needs Survey for Housing Low-Income Senior Citizens 165
10 Neighborhood Fightback 173
Pt. 2 Housing Problems and Policies
11 Good Homes 213
12 Homeownership: Who's Got to Have It? 225
13 Housing Affordability 228
14 Military Family Housing: The Other Public Housing Program 233
15 A Radical Housing Alternative for the United States 246
16 Housing Policies under the Reagan Administration 257
17 The Housing Part of the Homelessness Problem 265
18 The Inequity of the Homeowner Deduction 278
19 The Case for a Right to Housing 280
Pt. 3 Organizing and Activism
20 Landlord Money Defeats Rent Control in San Francisco 301
21 Running a Rent Control Initiative Campaign 305
22 Divestment at Harvard: The Alumni Weigh In 311
23 Sweet Charity Gone Sour: San Francisco's United Fund 316
24 Bay Stater Inside Cuba 323
25 The Voter Initiative as a Form of Citizen Participation in Swiss Transportation Policy 327
26 Transportation Users Movements in Paris 340
27 Paul Davidoff: An Appreciation 355
Pt. 4 Poverty and Race
28 Notes on the President's Initiative on Race 359
29 Reparations for Slavery 363
Pt. 5 Planning Education
30 The Harvard Urban Field Service Program 367
31 Reshaping Planning Education 375
32 Uppity and Out: A Case Study in the Politics of Faculty Reappointments (and the Limitations of Grievance Procedures) 380
Index 392
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