Thanks for Everything (Now Get Out) Can We Restore Neighborhoods without Destroying Them? Joseph Margulies

Format:
Hardback
Publication date:
11 Jan 2022
ISBN:
9780300250015
Imprint:
Yale University Press
Dimensions:
304 pages: 216 x 140mm
Illustrations:
1 b-w illus.
Sales territories:
World

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A radical rethinking of how to make distressed urban neighborhoods more livable while preserving the residents’ ability to live there

When a distressed urban neighborhood gentrifies, all the ratios change: poor to rich; Black and Brown to white; unskilled to professional; uninsured to insured; food insecure to food secure. Vacant lots become condos, junkyards become parks, and trendy new restaurants open. But the people who originally lived there—enduring miserable conditions for years and working hard to change them—are gradually driven out. For them, the neighborhood hasn’t been restored so much as destroyed.
 
Focusing on the Olneyville section of Providence, Rhode Island, Joseph Margulies asks, Can we rebuild such neighborhoods without setting the stage for their destruction? Is failure the inevitable cost of success? His answer is based on years of interviews and on-the-ground observation. Margulies argues for innovative and practical strategies of self‑government and advocates for a new form of organization—the “neighborhood trust”—to give low-income residents ownership and control of assets to allow them to chart their own future.

Joseph Margulies is a civil rights attorney and professor of law and government at Cornell University. His most recent book is What Changed When Everything Changed: 9/11 and the Making of National Identity. He lives in Ithaca, NY.

"With piercing insights, Joe Margulies compellingly traces the history of one neighborhood in Providence, Rhode Island, a stand-in for distressed neighborhoods around the country. This utterly original book takes on many of our assumptions about race, poverty, and gentrification—and tackles the toughest question of all: In restoring these places, do we set them up for destruction?"—Alex Kotlowitz, author of An American Summer, winner of the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize