14 January 2013

End of Manhattantown ~ Tragic Urban "Renewal"

Thanks to Strong Towns piece It's so much more than density by Charles Marohn for spotting Reason.tv's piece on the corrupt Democratic machine-enabled Tragedy of Urban Renewal: The destruction and survival of a New York City neighborhood...
"New York City's Manhattantown (1951) was one of the first projects authorized [for destruction and "upgrading"] under urban renewal and it set the model not only for hundreds of urban renewal projects but for the next 60 years of eminent domain abuse at places such as Poletown, New London, and Atlantic Yards. The Manhattantown project destroyed six blocks on New York City's Upper West Side, including an African-American community that dated to the turn of the century. The city sold the land for a token sum to a group of well-connected Democratic pols to build a middle-class housing development. [...] The community destroyed at Manhattantown was a model for the tight-knit, interconnected neighborhoods later celebrated by Jane Jacobs and other critics of top-down redevelopment."
P.S. How ironic that Cape Town's District Six got the same treatment just a couple decades later.

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