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In After the Projects, Lawrence Vale investigates the deeply-rooted spatial politics of public housing development and redevelopment at a time when lower-income Americans face a desperate struggle to find affordable rental housing in many cities. Drawing on more than 200 interviews with public housing residents, real estate developers, and community leaders, Vale analyzes the different ways in which New Orleans, Boston, Tucson, and San Francisco implemented the federal government's HOPE VI program for public housing transformation, while also providing a national picture of this program. Through examining the social, political, and economic forces that underlie housing displacement, Vale develops the novel concept of governance constellations. He shows how the stars align differently in each city, depending on community pressures that have evolved in response to each city's past struggles with urban renewal. A much-needed comparative approach to the existing research on public housing, After the Projects shines a light on the broad variety of attitudes towards public housing redevelopment in American cities and identifies ways to achieve more equitable processes and outcomes for low-income Americans.
About the Author
Lawrence J. Vale is Associate Dean and Ford Professor of Urban Design and Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and director of MIT's Resilient Cities Housing Initiative. Vale is the author or editor of ten previous books examining urban design, housing and planning, including four prize-winning volumes on American public housing, and the co-edited book The Resilient City: How Modern Cities Recover From Disaster.