Lecture 6 ? Planning the Post-War City Public Housing and Urban Renewal Similar but different efforts to save cities Central cities began to lose population in years after WWII Suburbs growing as cities decentralized ? by late 40s, clearly growing faster This was when New York was at its highest point of national dominance American economy moved from industrial to post-industrial (services) Residential suburbanization and industrial flight ? two forms of decentralizing forces city officials, urban real estate professionals, businessmen whose institutions were downtown, city planners, and housing reformers are all concerned 1956 Freeway Act gave extra impetus to ease circulation in/out of cities More parking spots appear downtown to attract commuters Campaigns against water and air pollution Attempts to reinvest in downtown?s buildings ? new construction of skyscrapers Ads and PR campaigns to encourage women (whites) to come shopping downtown Slums and blight Slums Social ills: crime, poverty, delinquency, disease Chiefly employed by reformers and ?housers? with their ?environmentalist? ideals ? housers = those who wanted to rehouse the poor to better their lives Basis for program of public housing initiated by the 1937 Wagner Public Housing Act Reformers mapped social problems to decide which parts of the city needed public housing (slum clearance) Difference between slums and blight also means differences between public housing and urban renewal Blight Economic term: sees decaying structures as financial burden on the cities? tax rolls Primary concern of city officials, planners, real estate interests Less interested in public housing, even sometimes opposed ? seen as socialism that would harm the housing market All agreed: need slum clearance and good urban planning Increase open plazas and green space, inspired by modern European designers and architects Maps of problem areas didn?t specify what each area needed Reformers wanted private sources of funding backed by government subsidies Social reformers, urban reformers, city planners unite for the Housing Act of 1949 - sweeping expansion of the federal role in mortgage insurance and issuance and the construction of public housing Federal subsidies and tax breaks to agencies that: Collaborate with private developers to clear slums and build ?urban redevelopment? projects [Title 1] ? later called urban renewal Build public housing [Title 3] Stuyvesant Town ? big housing project that replaced slum area on the East Side Lincoln Square ? one of New York?s biggest urban renewal projects
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