Redevelopment Policy

Redevelopment PolicyUrban redevelopment is the process by which government, private investors, and households transform the uses and financial returns of the urban built environment. As an area of public policy it is a response to the perceived deterioration of cities caused by initial poor construction, decay, economic restructuring, regional shifts, suburbanization, and social segregation. Different social groups receive different costs and benefits as a consequence of redevelopment efforts. The objective of this course is to examine the process of urban decline, the kinds of responses that it has evoked, the principal redevelopment actors, the possible range of redevelopment strategies, and the social and spatial impacts of redevelopment efforts. Topics to be covered include: the history of redevelopment programs; the character of the real estate industry, offices, tourism and entertainment as strategies for central city revival; community-based efforts for neighborhood revitalization; historic preservation and its implications; gentrification; issues of class and race; international comparisons.Course requirementsClass discussion is an essential part of the course. Written assignments will consist of two papers, the first to be based on library research and the second to involve original research.Assignment 1. A 9-12 page analytic paper presenting both sides of the debate on a controversial topic.Assignment 2. A field project resulting in a 20-page case study of a development project, a changing neighborhood, or a development actor. If class size permits, the paper will also be presented orally.ReadingsThe assignments are a mix of xeroxed materials, articles posted on the course web site, and books that you are encouraged to purchase.