Blueprint for Disaster: The Unraveling of Chicago Public Housing

Blueprint for Disaster: The Unraveling of Chicago Public Housing

by D. Bradford Hunt
     
 

ISBN-10: 0226360865

ISBN-13: 9780226360867

Pub. Date: 10/01/2010

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

Blueprint for Disaster traces public housing's history in Chicago from its New Deal roots through current mayor Richard M. Daley's Plan for Transformation. In the process, D. Bradford Hunt Chronicles the Chicago Housing Authority's own transformation from the city's most progressive government agency to its largest slumlord.

Challenging explanations that

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Overview

Blueprint for Disaster traces public housing's history in Chicago from its New Deal roots through current mayor Richard M. Daley's Plan for Transformation. In the process, D. Bradford Hunt Chronicles the Chicago Housing Authority's own transformation from the city's most progressive government agency to its largest slumlord.

Challenging explanations that attribute the projects' decline primarily to racial discrimination and real estate interests, Hunt argues that well-intentioned but misguided policy decisions-ranging from design choices to maintenance contracts-also paved the road to failure. Moreover, administrators who fully understood the potential drawbacks did not try to halt such deeply flawed projects as Cabrini Green and the Robert Taylor Homes. The resulting combination of fiscal crisis, managerial incompetence, and social unrest plunged the CHA into a quagmire from which it is still struggling to emerge. Blueprint for disaster, then, is an urgent reminder of the havoc poorly conceived policy can wreak on our most vulnerable citizens.

Winner of the 2009 Lewis Mumford prize from the society of American City and Regional planning Historians

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780226360867
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
Publication date:
10/01/2010
Series:
Historical Studies of Urban America Series
Pages:
392
Sales rank:
606,503
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations ix

Introduction: What Went Wrong with Public Housing in Chicago? 1

1 The 1937 Housing Act Revisited 15

2 Building the Chicago Housing Authority 35

3 Clearing Chicago's Slums 67

4 The End of Integration and the Taming of the CHA 99

5 Designing High-Rise Disasters 121

6 Planning a Social Disaster 145

7 The Loss of the Working Class 183

8 The Tenants Revolt 213

9 The Gautreaux Case and the Limits of Judicial Activism 239

10 The Long Road to Rebirth 259

Conclusion: The Unraveling of Chicago Public Housing 285

Acknowledgments 297

A Note on Sources 301

Notes 303

Index 355

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