"In the early 1970s, arson became a spectacular growth industry. Buildings throughout the borough were burned intentionally in an effort to recoup much of their lost value. In 1976 Roger Starr, city housing commissioner, later New York Times urban affairs editor, proposed a plan he called “Planned Shrinkage.” The city, he said, is divided into neighborhoods that were “productive” and others that were “unproductive,” a drag on the tax base. We have to eliminate the unproductive. This meant to “stop the Puerto Ricans and rural blacks from living in the city.” If we turn off water, electricity, sanitation, and stop making repairs when systems break, we can drive the unproductive out. In the past, the urban system took “ the peasant . . . and [turned him] into an industrial worker.” But now “there are no industrial jobs,” and it is our task to “keep [this man] a peasant.” We must “reverse the role of the city” as a world-historical force. " -- Marxist philosopher and lifelong Bronx resident Marshall Berman, who sadly passed away last year talks about the attempted urbicide of the South Bronx and how it rose up again from it
in his last public lecture at the City College of New York
posted by MartinWisse
on Mar 29, 2014 -
A serial house flipper would rather stay in prison.
The judge said no, and put the city councilman whose ward he destroyed in charge of the flipper's parole. In addition to electronic monitoring, being forced to live in one of his own derelict properties and financial restitution, the flipper will give the city the equivalent of 18 months' full time work creating gardens and other features for the community at his own expense.
posted by bitter-girl.com
on Jan 17, 2014 -
Cairo, Illinois is mostly abandoned.
It was once a thriving city of 15,000, but the Mississippi barges don't stop there anymore, and racial turmoil,
including a three-year boycott of white-owned businesses
that refused to hire black workers, killed the town's economy. The Cairo Project
, from Southern Illinois University, is a good overview of Cairo's history and its current situation.
Can punk label Plan-it-X
start a rebirth by moving to Cairo
and opening a coffeeshop
? If it helps, there's still good barbecue
posted by escabeche
on Jun 12, 2010 -