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The City: Approaches to Urban Studies

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Brian McCabe

on 24 April 2012

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Transcript of The City: Approaches to Urban Studies

Introducing the Urban Question
Urbanism as a Way of Life?
Social Life and the Modern City

Imagining the Utopian City
The City of Exchange and Renewal
The City in Decline
The Segregated City
The City Explodes
The City Rediscovered
Cities, Communities and Social Life
Cities in a Global Context
Publics and Public Spaces
Social Justice and the City
The Capitalist City
What is the process of social production of the spatial forms of a society and, conversely, what are the relations between the space constituted and the structural transformations of a society, within an intersocietal ensemble characterized by relations of dependence?
- Manuel Castells, The Urban Phenomenon
Industrial Capitalism and the Growth of Cities
Outline (1/17/2012)

I. Detroit as the Archetypal Industrial City

II. Defining the Capitalist Mode of Production

III. Transitioning from the Commerical to the Industrial City

IV. Urban Growth in the United States

V. Fordist Production in Detroit

VI. Industrial Capitalism and Uneven Development
How Industrialization Shaped Cities ...
- Concentration of poverty in central cities
(Industrial Urbanization, Urban Ghetto, Suburbanization)
- Physical infrastructure of cities (e.g., factories, roads, railways)
(Urban Process under Capitalism, Gentrification)
- Analogous processes in Lagos, Beijing, Mexico City, etc.
(Cities of the Global South, Slums & Megacities)
"The first tenement New York knew bore the mark of Cain from its birth ... There had been tenant-houses before, but they were not built for the purpose. Nothing would probably have shocked their orignal owners more than the idea of their harboring a promiscuous crowd ... It was the stir and bustle of trade, together with the tremendous immigration that followed upon the war of 1812, that dislodged them. In thirty-five years the city of less than a hundred thousand came to harbor half a million souls, for whom homes had to be found."
- Jacob Riis, How the Other Half Lives, 1890
"The death of a child in a tenement was registerd at the Bureau of Vital Statistics as 'plainly due to suffocation in the foul air of an unventilated apartment'."
- Jacob Riis, How the Other Half Lives, 1890
"Official reports, read in the churches in 1879, characterized [tenant dwellers] as victims of low social conditions of life and unhealthy, overcrowded lodgings, brought up in 'an atmosphere of actual darkness, moral and physical.' ... 'If we could see the air breathed by these poor creatures in their tenements,' said a well-known physican, 'it would show itself to be fouler than the mud of the gutters'."
- Jacob Riis, How the Other Half Lives, 1890
United Nations World Population Data Sheet, 2007
"... I understand the urban question under capitalistm as a double-edged sociopolitical problematic: it encompasses both the historical process of capitalist urbanizatoin and the multiple, politically contested interpretations of that process within modern capitalist society. On the one hand, the urban question refers to the role of cities as sociospatial arenas in which the contradictions of capitalist development are continually produced and fought out. On the other hand, the urban question refers to the historically specific epistemic frameworks through which capitalist cities are interpreted, whether in sociological analysis, in public discourse, in sociopolitical struggles or in everyday life."
- Neil Brenner, 2002
I. Urbanization

"Rapid urbanization, one of the greatest socio-economic changes during the last five decades or so, has caused the burgeoning of new kinds of slums, the growth of squatter settlements and informal housing all around the rapidly expanding cities of the developing world. Urban populations have increased explosively in the past 50 years, and will continue to do so for at least the next 30 years as the number of people born in cities increase and as people continue to be displaced from rural areas ..." - UN Habitat, 2003
II. Urbanism

"The city ... is something more than a congeries of individual men and social conveniences - streets, buildings, electric lights, tramways, and telephones, etc; something more, also, than a mere constellation of institutions and administrative devices - courts, hospitals, schools, police, and civil functionaries of various sorts. The city is, rather, a state of mind, a body of customs and traditions ... The city is not, in other words, merely a physcial mechanism and an artificial construction. It is involved in the vital processes of the people who compose it; it is a product of nature, and particularly of human nature." - Park ,1925
I. Urbanization

"On the one hand, the urban question refers to the role of cities as sociospatial arenas in which the contradictions of capitalist development are continually produced and fought out." - Brenner, 2002
The City: Approaches to Urban Studies
Professor McCabe


1. Consider the broader economic, social and political forces shaping cities and urban life (e.g., capitalism, globalization, etc.)

2. Approach the city as a simultaneously social and spatial process (sociospatial)

3. Recognize cities as spaces that are both socially and politically contested
The city is "man's most consistent and on the whole, his most successful attempt to remake the world he lives in more after his heart's desire. But, if the city is the world which man created, it is the world in which he is henceforth condemned to live. Thus, indirectly, and without any clear sense of the nature of his task, in making the city man had remade himself." - Robert Park
"The city has never been a harmonious place, free of confusions, conflicts, violence. Only read the history of the Paris Commune of 1871, see Scorsese's fictional depiction of The Gangs of New York in the 1850s, and think how far we have come. But then think of the violence that has divided Belfast, desroyed Beirut and Sarajevo, rocked Bombay, even touched the 'city of angels'. Calmness and civility in urban history are the exception not the rule ... Yet the city has also proven a remarkably resilient, enduring and innovative social form." - David Harvey, 2003
II. Defining the Capitalist Mode of Production
Means of Production
- the tools, equipment, factories, etc.;
the techniques used in the production process

Mode of Production
- the system of ownership over the means
of production and the resulting social relations
What are the key features of the Capitalist Mode of Production?
Ownership of the means of production are concentrated in the hands of one class (capitalist class, bourgeoisie).
Labor becomes a commodity to be bought & sold on the marketplace like other commodities.
The division of labor results in alienation, separating workers from both the means of production and other workers.
“These labourers, who must sell themselves piece-meal, are a commodity like every other article of commerce, and are consequentially exposed to all the vicissitudes of competition, to all the fluctuations of the market.” Marx, The Communist Manifesto
The emergence of a new set of social relations where capitalists need to tame & control their labor force.

In industrial cities, this set the stage for conflict between those who own the means of production (capitalists) and those who sell their labor (workers).
I. Detroit as the Archetypal Industrial City
III. Transition from the Commercial to the Industrial City
a) The Commercial City
- What functions did cities serve?
b) The Industrial City
- Why did this transition to industrial capitalism
necessitate the growth of cities?
IV.Urban Growth in the United States
V. Fordist Production in Detroit
- Factories and industrial production
- Reserve army of labor
- Assembly Line/Deskilling of Labor
- Alienation of workers
“Thousands of newcomers flooded into the city, coming from places as diverse as rural Appalachia, depressed farm countries in central Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana, and the declining Black Belt regions of the Deep South. The rapid expansion of wartime production drastically reduced unemployment in the city. Between 1940 and 1943, the number of unemployed workers in Detroit fell from 135,000 to a mere 4,000.” Sugrue, The Origins of the Urban Crisis
What was the mode of production before the
capitalist mode of production? What makes the
capitalist mode of production unique?
“Between 1800 and 1850, trade expanded rapidly but industrialization had not yet dramatically invaded the urban scene: factories were being built in small towns, not in the large port cities. Some new occupational groups began to enter city life, but all of these groups continued to fit into the places and styles of the Commercial City.” Gordon, Capitalist Development and the History of American Cities
Greater control over the labor force
Transportation hubs to ship raw
materials in & finished products out
Endless supply of workers
“The bourgeoisie has subjected the country to the rule of the towns. It has created enormous cities, has greatly increased the urban population as compared with the rural, and has thus rescued a considerable part of the population from the idiocy of rural life. Just as it has made the country dependent on the towns, so it has made the barbarian and semi-barbarian countries dependent on the civilized ones, nations and peasants on nations of bourgeoisie, the East on the West. The bourgeoisie keeps more and more doing away with the scattered state of the population, of the means of production, and of property. It has agglomerated population, centralized means of production, and has concentrated property in a few hands.” Marx, The Communist Manifesto
"I view great cities as pestilential to the morals, the health and the liberties of man. True, they nourish some of the elegant arts; but the useful ones can thrive elsewhere; and less perfection in the others, with more health, virtue and freedom, would be my choice."

"The mobs of great cities add just so much to support of pure government as sores do to the strength of the human body."
What is Fordism?
VI. Industrial Capitalism and Uneven (Geographic) Development

Uneven development


Uneven development
Key Points:
Outline the characteristics of the capitalist mode of production.
Explain why the transition to industrial capitalism necessitated the growth of cities.
Differentiate between the functions of mercantile and industrial cities.
Define the key features of a Fordist mode of production.
Consider the basic phenomenon of uneven development (to be discussed in future lectures).
Use Detroit (or other cities) to illustrate this process of industrial urbanization.
Means of Production
Mode of Production
Uneven development
cities could examine why industries located in particular places, but not in others, for example.

Uneven development
cities could look at why some industries or functions are concentrated in particular cities, but not in others, for example.
Creation of Surplus Value
Life in the Industrial City
Outline (1/19/2012)

I. Review: The Capitalist Mode of Production and the Emergence of the Industrial City

II. Slums, Poverty and the Industrial City

III. Community & Social Relations

IV. Urban Unrest & Social Disorder

V. Explaining Moral Vices
Bandit's Roost
Five Cents a Spot
Percent Foreign-Born (1890): 35.3%
Percent Foreign-Born (1890): 41.0%
Percent Foreign-Born (1890): 25.7%
Percent Foreign-Born (1890): 42.4%
III. Community & Social Relations
What do sociologists mean when we talk about
Theorist: Ferdinand Tonnies
Book: Gemeinschaft und Gesellschaft (1887)
Main Idea:
[community] is a form of community focused on intimacy in social relationships, typically based on shared membership in families, neighborhoods or friendship.
[society], on the other hand, is characterized by contractual, large-scale, impersonal social relations emerging in industrial society, organized largely around bureaucratic institutions or workplace rules, rather than kinship and community.
Theorist: Emile Durkehim
Main Idea:
Mechanical solidarity
occurs in small-scale villages and societies, where individual differences are minimized, people share common bonds and habits, and social unity occurs automatically or naturally.
Organic solidarity,
on the other hand, occurs as a result of the division of labor in urban, industrial society. Individual differences are emphasized, but individuals are more interdependent, creating solidarity based on the shared dependence needed to function as a society.
How did rapid urbanization and the transition to cities affect
the possibility of forming communities?
IV. Urban Unrest and Social Disorder
"The thousands recently arrived, the thousands more moving about, concentrated narrowly on their own security. Men struggling to learn new skills or to preserve old ones in a rapidly changing economy could not afford to think about citywide issues. Without stability at home or on the job, the civic spirit had no place to take root." Robert H. Wiebe, "The Search for Order, 1877-1920"
Riots in Bushwick, 1977
IV. Explaining Moral Vices
"It was in the 1820s that Americans began to awake to a fundamental transformation that was going on around them: a society that had been overwhelmingly rural since its foundation in the seventeenth century was entering a period of explosive urban growth. For many - churchmen, moralists, members of old elites, and even well-to-do and upwards aspiring city dwellers - this development was profoundly disturbing. Would religion and morality find nuture in the cities? Indeed, would the social order itself be able to survive this transformation?" Boyer, Urban Masses and the Moral Order in America, 1820-1920
Individual explanations vs. environmental influences

Was the individual character flaws of the masses to blame for their own moral vices, or were environmental influences - the neighborhood, the housing conditions, or the conditions of industrial production - responsible for shaping the moral character of the urban poor?
"The brutal indifference, the unfeeling isolation of each in his private interest becomes the more repellent and offensive, the more these individuals are crowded together, within a limited space ... The dissolution of mankind into monads, of which each one has a separate principle and a separate purpose, the world of atoms, is here carried out to its most extreme." Engels, The Condition of the Working Class in England
"If any one wishes to see in how little space a human being can move, how little air - and such air! - he can breath, how little of civilization he may share and yet live, it is only necessary to travel hither. True, this is the Old Town, and the people of Manchester emphasize the fact whenever any one mentions to them the frightful condition of this Hell upon Earth, but what does that prove? Everything which here arouses horror and indignation is of recent origin, belongs to the industrial epoch." Engels, The Condition of the Working Class in England
I. Moral Example/Moral Coercion

II. Improving the Physical Landscape of the City

III. Neighborhoods
II. Physical Landscape

On Housing Reform:

" ... the physical conditions under which these people live lessen
their power of resisting evil," according to one tenement
investigator in Cleveland.

"... the promiscuous mixing of all ages and sexes (in cramped
tenements) is breaking down the barriers to modesty (and)
conducing the corruption of the young," read a report from
the Tenement Commission in New York.
II. Physical Landscape

On Parks:

"The ideal park ... Olmstead believed, would exert upon the urban masses a
'harmonizing and refining influence ... favorable to courtesy, self-control,
and temperance.' More important, in this setting, the sense of community
and fellow feeling would revive, competitive clamor would be muted, and
class divisoin would fade as each visitor 'by his mere presence' contributed
'to the pleasure of the others, all helping to generate the greater happiness
of each'." Boyer, on Olmstead
"Sound and sober citizenship finds its origins in our homes, not in our tenements," according to President Hoover. He frequently called attention to "... that unrest which inevitably results from inhibition of the primal instinct in us all for homeownership," and stressed that "a nation of tenants will not be a stable people."
"It is unfortunate indeed that for several decades our great American Republic has shown a constant drift toward tenantry ... Confronted with these facts there is little wonder that the tide of social unrest is constantly increasing, thereby creating a serious menace to our republican form of government." Leaders of the "Own Your Own Home" campaign, ~1923
Key Points:
- Describe the living conditions of industrial cities, including process of spatial segregation that kept the living conditions of the working class largely out of view of the middle- and upper-class.
- Critically consider what sociologists mean when they talk about "communities," and how the rise of industrial cities reshaped the possibility for community life.
- Explain how urbanization threatened the social or political order in the United States. What were some of the responses to these threats?
- In the context of historical efforts to link environmental influences to moral behaviors, can you think of contemporary examples where changing environmental factors or the physical landscape leads to changing social behaviors in cities?
I. Moral Examples/Moral Reform

Poverty was rooted in individual flaws, and those flaws could be corrected
through individual uplift efforts.

- Charitable organizations
- Sunday schools
- Protestant Missionary Societys
III. Neighborhoods
Georg Simmel (1858-1918)
Psychology of the Modern City

I. Review: The Capitalist Mode of Production
and the Rise of the Industrial City

II. Introducing Simmel and "The Metropolis
and Mental Life"

III. Urban Overload!

IV. Adaptations & Consequences

V. The Subway Portraits of Walker Evans
Social Inquiry and the City
Adaptive Responses: What are some responses
to the overstimulation (or overload) in urban life?
I. Does frequent contact with strangers lead us
to restrict what we consider to be our moral
and social responsibilities? Are we less likely to
become involved in others' crises, but also less
likely to assist them in the day-to-day acts of
trust and helpfulness?
“The ultimate adaptation to an overloaded social environment is to toally disregard the needs, interests, and demands of those whom one does not define as relevant to the satisfaction of personal needs, and to develop highly efficient perceptual means of determining whether an individual falls into the category of friend or stranger.” Stanley Milgram, The Experience of Living in Cities
II. What about in the realm of basic civilities?
On account of their overstimulation, are urban citizens less likely to hold the door, give up their seat on the train, or apologize when they bump into someone? And if so, does this constitute a new forms of social relations?
"People bump into each other and often do not apologize. They knock over another person’s packages and, as often as not, proceed on their way with a grumpy exclamation instead of an offer of assistance ... (T)he cities develop new norms of noninvolvement. These are so well defined and so deeply a part of city life that they constitute the norms people are reluctant to violate. Men are actually embarrassed to give up a seat on the subway to an old woman; they mumble ‘I was getting off anyway,’ instead of making the gesture in a straightforward and gracious way. These norms develop because everyone realizes that, in situations of high population density, people cannot implicate themselves in each others’ affairs, for to do so would create conditions of continual distraction which would frustrate purposeful action.” Stanley Milgram, The Experience of Living in Cities
III. In small towns, people often mix their friendly relationships with their purposeful ones (e.g., the butcher is also a friend; niceties are exchanged with the mail clerk). Does urban life result new forms of role adaptation in which individuals deal with one another in highly segmented, largely functional terms?
IV. What are the consequences - both positive and negative - of the heightened anonymity of urban life? Are there particular spaces in
the city that invite anonymity?
“The street is a public arena, and city-dwellers have always been immediately distinguishable from visiting bumpkins by the psychic armor they wear when they go out … The subway is a different matter, though. It is a neutral zone in which people are free to consider themselves invisible; time spent commuting is a hiatus from social interaction. Since the protocols of subway-riding advise turning your gaze inward, you can take off the face you wear for the benefit of others, let your posture go slack, allow your age and self-doubt and fatigue to resume the positions they occupy in the privacy of your own home.” Luc Sante, writing about the subway photographs of Walker Evans in the introduction to Many Are Called
Social Inquiry and the City

I. The Chicago School of Urban Sociology

II. Louis Wirth, "Urbanism as a Way of Life"

III. A Rejoinder: Herbert Gans, "Urbanism and Suburbanism as Ways of Life"

III. Critiques and Alternatives to the Chicago School
Human Ecology
The Chicago School - Key Concepts

I. Chicago Sociologists used the neighborhoods of Chicago as their
urban laboratory

II. A model of
human ecology
that borrowed from natural sciences (e.g., invasion, metabolism, symbiotic).

III. Concern with the
of growth and displacement, concentration and decentralization.

IV. Their framework examined
struggle between social groups
for positions within the city.

V. Social phenomenon (e.g., mental illness, homeownership) have distinctive
spatial distributions

VI. Primarily concerned with
forces shaping urban life, rather than exogenous ones.
“For it is not only in situations of dramatic need but in the ordinary, everyday willingness to lend a hand that the city dweller is said to be deficient relative to his small-town cousin.” Stanley Milgram, The Experience of Living in Cities
“Conditions of full acquaintance, for example, offer security and familiarity, but they may also be stifling because the individual is caught in a web of established relationships. Conditions of complete anonymity, by contrast provide freedom from routinized social ties, but they may also create feelings of alienation and detachment.” Stanley Milgram, The Experience of Living in Cities
What is the main questi0n posed by Simmel
in "The Metropolis and Mental Life"?
Blase - apathetic to pleasure or excitement as a result
of excessive enjoyment or indulgence; uninterested,
unconcerned or nonchalant.
Rational, "intellectualistic" reactions to stimulations of the urban environment
“Thus, the metropolitan type – which naturally takes on a thousand individual modifications – creates a protective organ for itself against the profound disruptions with which the fluctuations and discontinuities of the external milieu threaten it. Instead of reacting emotionally, the metropolitan type reacts primarily in a rational manner, thus creating a mental predominance through the intensification of consciousness, which in turn is caused by it.”
“There is perhaps no psychic phenomenon which is so unconditionally reserved to the city as the blasé outlook. It is at first the consequence of those rapidly shifting stimulations of the nerves which are thrown together in all their contrasts and from which ... the intensification of metropolitan intellectuality seems to be derived.”
The city increases the frequency of the stimuli that we face
in our day-to-day lives.
“If the unceasing external contact of numbers of persons in the city
should be met by the same number of internal reactions as in the small
town, in which one knows almost every person he meets and to each of
whom he has a positive relationship, one would be completely atomized internally and would fall into an unthinkable mental condition.”
How does the captialist mode of production (or capitalism)
figure into Simmel's account of urban life?
“Punctuality, calculability, and exactness, which are required by the complications and extensiveness of metropolitan life are not only most intimately connected with its capitalistic and intellectualistic character, but also color the content of life and are conducive to the exclusion of those irrational, instinctive, sovereign human traits and impulses which originally seek to determine the form of life from within instead of receiving it from the outside in a general, schematically precise form.”
Reaction Paper Extensions:
- Is Detroit representative of other cities as a model of industrial production?
- Are Chinese cities, or cities throughout the Global South, experiencing parallel processes of urban industrialization that we read about in Engels, Gordon and Hall?
- Engels acknowledges the spatial layout of urban Manchester as partially responsible for the conditions of the poor. How does the configuration of urban space exacerbate or mitigate conditions of poverty?
- How much social mobility is there within the capitalist mode of production? Did it allow workers to rise from their class?
- What about the role of the government? A regulatory role for the government was largely absent from the readings and discussions of last week.
- What about Washington, DC?
I. The Loop!
II. The Zone in Transition
III. The Zone of Workingmen's Homes
IV. Residential Zone
"It hardly needs to be added that neither Chicago nor any other city fits perfectly into this ideal scheme. Complications are introduced by the lake front, the Chicago River, railroad lines, historical factors in the location of industry, the relative degree of the resistance of communities to invasion, etc." Burgess, The Growth fo the City
"Within the zone of deterioration ...(is) always to be found the "slums"
and "bad lands," with their submerged regions of poverty, degradation,
and disease, and their underworlds of crime and vice ... The slums are
also crowded ... with immigrant colonies - the Ghetto, Little Sicily,
Greek town, Chinatown - fascinatingly combining old world heritages
and American adaptations. Wedging out from here is the Black Belt
with its free and disorderly life. The area of deterioration, while
essentially one of decay, of stationary or declining population, is also
one of regeneration, as witness the mission, the settlement, the artists'
colony, radical centers - all obsessed with the vision of a new and better
world." Burgess, The Growth of the City
"This differentiation into natural economic and cultural groupings gives form and character to the city. For segregation offers the group, and thereby the individuals who compose the group, a place and a role in the total organization of city life ... These areas tend to accentuate certain traits, to attracts and develop their kind of individuals, and so to become further differentiated." Burgess, The Growth of the City
Ethnographies of the Chicago School
What makes somewhere urban? What defines a city?
"For sociological purposes a city may be defined as a relatively large, dense, and permanent settlement of socially heterogeneous individuals.” Louis Wirth, Urbanism as a Way of Life
Defining the City:
Size, Density & Heterogeneity

Why size?

Why density?

Why heterogeneity?
“This is not to say that the urban inhabitants have fewer acquaintances than rural inhabitants, for the reverse may actually be true; it means rather that in relation to the number of people whom they see and with whom they rub elbows in the course of daily life, they know a smaller proportion, and of these they have less intense knowledge.”

"Characteristically, urbanites meet one another in highly segmental roles. They are, to be sure, dependent upon more people for the satisfaction of their life-needs than are rural people and thus are associated with a greater number of organized groups, but they are less dependent upon particular persons, and their dependence upon others is confined to a highly fractionalized aspect of the other's round of activity."
How many people do you think
you interact with daily in the city?
(Define interact loosely.)
"As Darwin pointed out for flora and fauna ...an increase in numbers when area is held constant (that is, an increase in density) tends to produce differentiation and specialization ..."

“The close living together and working together of individuals who have no sentimental and emotional ties foster a spirit of competition, aggrandizement, and mutual exploitation. To counteract irresponsibility and potential disorder, formal controls tend to be resorted to.”
“The social interaction among such a variety of personality types in the urban milieu tends to break down the rigidity of caste lines and to complicate the class structure, and thus induces a more ramified and differentiated framework of social stratification than is found in more integrated societies.”

“Although the city, through the recruitment of variant types to perform its diverse tasks and the accentuation of their uniqueness through competition and the premium upon eccentricity, novelty, efficient performance, and inventiveness, produces a highly differentiated population, it also exercises a leveling influence. Wherever large numbers of differently constituted individuals congregate, the process of depersonalization also enters.”
What types of formal controls
might be a reaction to the density
or urban environments?
What were the critiques Gans offers of "Urbanism as a Way of Life?"
What are critiques that have been offered of the Chicago School?
Deconcentrating the City

1. Imagining Utopian Cities

II. Ebeneezer Howard and the Creation of the Garden City

III. Frank Lloyd Wright and the Plan for Broadacre City

IV. Other Planning Visions: The City Beautiful Movement

V. Utopian Visions Today?
Imagining Utopian Cities
Broadacre City
"Imagine spacious landscaped highways …giant roads, themselves great architecture, pass public service stations, no longer eyesores, expanded to include all kinds of service and comfort. They unite and separate — separate and unite the series of diversified units, the farm units, the factory units, the roadside markets, the garden schools, the dwelling places (each on its acre of individually adorned and cultivated ground), the places for pleasure and leisure. All of these units so arranged and so integrated that each citizen of the future will have all forms of production, distribution, self improvement, enjoyment, within a radius of a hundred and fifty miles of his home now easily and speedily available by means of his car or plane. This integral whole composes the great city that I see embracing all of this country—the Broadacre City of tomorrow." Frank Lloyd Wright, 1932
Radburn, NJ
Greenbelt, MD
Ebeneezer Howard
and the Creation of the Garden City
Key Principles of the Garden City:

I. Provide the best of both the countryside and the city.

II. Version of moderate decentralism (at least relative to Wright's later vision of Broadacre City).

III. Cooperative Socialism of collective ownership of land.

IV. Boundary for urban growth, limited population size.

V. Series of Garden Cities, connected by railroad lines; allowed for the growing importance of the automobile without dominating Garden Cities.

V. Open land, both at the center and the periphery.

VI. Alternative to industrial cities; not suburbs
Frank Lloyd Wright
and the Plan for Broadacre City
Other Planning Visions:
The City Beautiful Movement
"The object (of the Garden City) ... is to find for our industrial population work at wages of higher purchasing power, and to secure healthier surroundings and more regular employment. To enterprising manufacturers, co-operatives societies ... it is intended to offer a means of securing new and better employment for their capital and talents, while to the agriculturists ... it is designed to open a new market for their produce close to their doors. Its object is, in short, to raise the standard of health and comfort of all true workers of whatever grade - the means by which these objects are to be achieved being a health, natural and economic combination of town and country life, and this on land owned by the municipality." Howard, Garden Cities of To-Morrow (1902)
Urban Growth Boundary: PDX
"These crowded cities have done their work; they were the best which a society largely based on selfishness and rapacity could construct, but they are in the nature of things entirely unadapted for a society in which the social side of our nature is demanding a larger share of recognition - a society where even the very love of self leads us to insist upon a greater regard for the well-being of our fellows. The large cities of today are scarcely better adapted for the expression of the fraternal spirit than would a work on astronomy which taught that the earth was the centre of our universie be capable of adaptation for use in our schools." Howard, Garden Cities of To-Morrow (1902)
"Can better results be obtained by starting on a bold plan on comparatively virgin soil than by attempting to adapt our old cities to our newer and higher needs? Thus fairly faced, the question can only be answered in one way; and when that simple fact is well grasped, the social revolution will speedily commence." Howard, Garden Cities of To-Morrow (1902)
Key Principles of Broadacre City

I. Focus on the advent of new technologies (e.g., the telephone, the automobile) that would make proximity irrelevant.

II. Massive deconcentration of the city, blending of the country and the city.

III. Decentralize power and the means of production

IV. Provide each family with at least one acre of land, homesteading, land ownership.

V. Promote individuality, democracy and freedom.

VI. As for other utopian schemes, Broadacre City was the physical embodiment of a radically different society.
“Wright believed that the psychology of urban life was as dangerous to the nation’s mental health as urban economics was to its physical wellbeing.” Fishman, in Urban Utopias (1982)
"The cities will be part of the county; I shall live 30 miles from my office in one direction, under a pine tree; my secretary will live 30 miles away from it, too, in the other direction, under another pine tree. We shall both have our own car." Frank Lloyd Wright
" ... that distinctively American transcendentalism that derives from writers like Emerson, Thoreau and Whitman." Peter Hall, Cities of Tomorrow
According to Wright, the city "made man a piece of cheap, speculative property."
A vision for Chicago's City Center (unrealized)
Utopian Visions Today?

I. Can you think of utopian schemes for cities today?

II. Are there distinct social or political philosophies that underlie these visions for an alternative urban order?
“ … a visionary planner of planetary ambitions.”
- James C. Scott
Public Housing Developments
Hausmann's Plan for Paris
Key Aspects of LeCorbusier's Vision for the City

I. Emphasized the science of town planning

II. Rationality, Efficiency, Geometry and Order

III. Decongest the Center

IV. Increase the Density

V. Facilitate and Rationalize Movement

VI. Increase Open Space

VII. Separate Land-Use Functions
What is the ideal city for the twentieth (or twenty-first) century?
The Tower in the Park
Concentrating the City

1. Garden Cities, Broadacre City and the City Beautiful Movement

II. Reimagining Urban Utopias

III. Haussmann's Plan for Paris

IV. Le Corbusier & the Radiant City

V. Le Corbusier Realized?

VI. Jane Jacobs and Critiques of the Rational City
In New York, "the streets are at right angles to each other and the mind is liberated."
Order, Rationality, Efficiency
The Path Donkey “meanders along, meditates a little in his scatter-brained and distracted fashion, he zigzags in order to avoid the larger stones, or to ease the climb, or to gain a little shade; he takes the line of least resistance.”
Le Corbusier's City:
- The Skyscraper = 1,200 to the acre
- Residential Blocks = 120 to the acre

Exsiting Cities:
- Paris = 146 to the acre
- London = 63 to the acre
- In their most overcrowded corridors,
only 213 or 169 to the acre, respectively

Broadacre City:
- One family per acre
"But a modern city lives by the straight line, inevitably; for the construction of buildings, sewers and tunnels, highways, pavements. The circulation of traffic demands the straight line; it is the proper thing for the heart of the city. The curve is ruinous, difficult and dangerous; it is a paralyzing thing." Le Corbusier
"Paris is a dangerous magma of human beings gathered from every quarter by conquest, growth and immigration; she is the eternal gipsy encampment from all the world's great roads; Paris is the seat of power and the home of a spirit which could enlighten the world; she digs and hacks through her undergrowth, and out of these evils she is tending towards an ordered system of straight lines and right angles; this reorganization is necessary to her vitality, health and permanence; this clearing process is indispensible to the expression of her spirit." Le Corbusier
The Path Donkey “meanders along, meditates a little in his scatter-brained and distracted fashion, he zigzags in order to avoid the larger stones, or to ease the climb, or to gain a little shade; he takes the line of least resistance.” Le Corbusier
"We struggle against change, against disorder, against a policy of drift and against the idleness which brings death; we strive for order, which can be achieved only by appealing to what is the fundamental basis on which our minds can work: geometry." Le Corbusier
Open Space
According to one observer, to understand
Le Corbusier is to understand that,
"The park is not in the city; the city is in the park.”
Jane Jacobs
Radiant Garden City Beautiful
Offers a critique of what she calls the ...
“Le Corbusier’s dream city has had an immense impact on our cities. It was hailed deliriously by architects, and has gradually been embodied in scores of projects, ranging from low-income public housing to office building projects ... He attempted to make planning for the automobile an integral part of his scheme, and this was, in the 1920’s and early 1930’s, a new, exciting idea. He included great arterial roads for express one-way traffic. He proposed underground streets for heavy vehicles and deliveries, and of course like the Garden City planners he kept pedestrians off the streets and in the parks. His city was like a wonderful mechanical toy.”
“ … he simply wrote off the intricate, many-faceted, cultural life of the metropolis. He was uninterested in such problems as the way great cities police themselves, or exchange ideas, or operate politically, or invent new economic arrangements, and he was oblivious to devising ways to strengthen these functions because, after all, he was not designing for this kind of life in any case.”
“None of (Le Corbusier’s) plans make any reference to the urban history, traditions, or aesthetic tastes of the place in which it is to be located. The cities depicted, however striking, betray no context; in their neutrality, they could be anywhere at all.” James C. Scott, Seeing Like a State
1. Cities are defined by the competition to shape particular places. Place entrepreneurs struggle to influence the characteristics of places to make them more attractive to mobile capital and generate differential rents.
- What do we mean by "rent"?
- What do we mean by "mobile capital" (or the mobility of capital)?
4. Place entrepreneurs often find the conditions for differential rents through serendipity, active entrepreneurship or continuous efforts to create differential rents.
What kinds of activities could "structural speculators" take to create differential rents?
Efforts to house students on campus?
Creation of historic districts?
Infrastructure Improvements?
Attract urban ammenities?
Attract private business?
According to Logan and Molotch, this strategy is "to
differential reants by influenceing the larger arena of decision making that will determine locational advantages. They may attempt, for example, to influence the location of a defense plant, to alter a freeway route, or to encourage government subsidizing of a private business that is likely to move to their property. They lobby for or against specific zoning ..."
2. Competition often pits the use value of a place against the exchange value of a place. These values are frequently at odds with one another, in part because those who benefit from increasing the exchange value may not be those who benefit from increasing the use value.
- What is the "exchange" value?
- What is the "use" value?
301 R Street., NW
2 BR, 1,536 sq. ft.
1830 Jefferson Place, NW
Dupont Circle
3 BR, 1,836 sq. ft.
1020 4th St, SE
Capitol Hill
3 BR, 1,800 sq. ft.
2534 Sheridan Rd., SE
3 BR, 1,452 sq. ft.
3. Although property is bought and sold like other commodities, its value is socially determined and its supply is fixed, thereby making it different from traditional commodities in neo-classical economics.
One locational strategy could be to shift the boundary of a neighborhood.

1. Have you heard of Midtown, DC?

3. What's Penn Quarter (hint: It's Chinatown)

2. How often do realtors list property in Burleith as being in Georgetown?

4. Where's West End?
5. Coalitions within the city often guide this process of urban growth. In an essay in the American Journal of Sociology, Molotch famously referred to the city as a "Growth Machine."
What do we mean by "The City as a Growth Machine"?

How do members of a growth machine differ from other capitalists seeking to turn a profit?

Name some groups involved in the growth machine.

Why is "growth" viewed so positively?
6. Competition to attract mobile capital occurs not only within cities (i.e., between neighborhoods) but between cities.
Are there groups that aim to improve the use value of places, rather than the exchange value?
7. The result of this process is place stratification. Some places become more valuable and/or desirable, while others become less valuable and/or desirable. They say place matters, but why?
“Exchange values from places appear as “rent.” We use the term broadly to include outright purchase expenditures as well as payments that home buyers or tenants make to landlords, realtors, mortgage lenders real estate lawyers, title companies and so forth.”
“Property prices do go down as well as up … less because what entrepreneurs do with their own holdings than because of their changing relations among properties. This dynamic accounts for much of the energy of the urban system as place entrepreneurs strive to increase their rent by revamping the spatial organization of the city.”
The Urban Process Under Capitalism

I. Review: The City as a Growth Machine

II. The Post-War Search for Capital Investment in Oakland

III. Why Process? Why Capitalism?

IV. The Built Environment and Creative Destruction

V. Looking Forward: Deindustrialization and Urban Decline
What are the key characteristics of the growth machine?
Three Circuits of Capital

I. The Primary Circuit

II. The Secondary Circuit

III. The Tertiary Circuit
Metropolitan Oakland Action Program (MOAP)
Making Oakland look like a good investment was central to the activities of MOAP. "Inaugurated in 1935, the campaign borrowed from California iconography but reconfigured booster images around manufacturing rather than earlier promotion incarnations like agriculture, real estate and tourism. (25)
"Through the MOAP, the city would campaign relentlessly for the attention of American capital." (26) They put advertisements in trade journals, real estate magazines, newspapers and magazines.
MOAP was more than a booster organization for Oakland; it was responding to specific changes in the urban landscape the resulted from the crisis of capital accumulation, including concerns about the profitability of the downtown business district, the decentralization of industry, and the competition between cities for post-War capital. Self writes, "The sharp decline in downtown's generation of both private revenue (profit) and public revenue (taxes) called for a response - the MOAP."
To understand investments in the secondary circuit of capital, Self writes that the vision of MOAP leaders was, "an economically integrated set of cities to the north and south of Oakland, a multicentered expanse of industry and residence held together by highways, rail lines, and the centrifugal force of Oakland's downtown."
Creative Destruction:
According to the Dictionary of Human Geography, “… the built environment is subject to creative destruction according to the rhythms of the capitalist economy. Major building booms are followed by periods of dramatic or incipient destruction ... The economic obsolescence of even relatively new buildings, the destruction of neighborhoods for highways, and the emergence of ghettos are … instances of creative destructions.”

- Leaders from the Chamber of Congress
- Publisher of the Oakland Tribune
- Local businessmen, factory owners, etc.
(e.g., The Moore Dry Dock Company, Kahn's Department Store, Bechtel Company)
- President of the Downtown Property Owners' Association
The Post-War Search for Capital Investment in Oakland
"In promoting 'metropolitan Oakland,' business interests sought to resolve the instability of capital. Boosters and developers know by calculation what often eludes the person on the street:
capital moves through and shapes local places in concrete ways.
Residential capital makes homes and neighborhoods. Industrial capital makes factories, goods, and jobs. Both generate public capital in the form of property taxes, which inturn make schools, roads, fire departments, and so on.
These flows on capital on which cities rise and fall are governed by an elaborate system of rules
: the taxes, zoning codes, transportation and labor costs, land prices, and rents on which investors and the owners of capital figure returns. The geography of these relationships was not abstract to Oakland's economic elite.
The concrete spaces that capital could produce - West Oakland's booming wartime shipyards, for instance, or East Oakland's mini Detroit, a flourishing set of neighborhoods between Seminary Avenue and the San Leandro boundary where General Motors and Fisher Body plants employed thousands of workers - translated economic abstractions into a physical and social landscape.
Such a translation, on a broader scale, was the object of the MOAP."
What are some ways that cities promote their own boosterism?
The Urban Process Under Capitalism

- Why "process"?

- Why the concern with capitalism?

Capitalist Mode of Production
Profit by Capitalists through
the creation of Surplus Value
Absolute vs. Relative Surplus Value
Overaccumulation of Capital (or
Accumulation for Accumulation's Sake)
(Harvey: "too much capital is produced in
aggregate relative to the opportunities
to employ that capital [in the primary
Crises occur when capital is not being
invested productively (i.e., not being used
to make a profit, increase capital)
Raises the possibility of switching
capital investments to the secondary
or tertiary circuits

Features of the Secondary Circuit
- Fixed capital used as an aid to the production process
- Investments in the bult environment (e.g., ports, factories, roads)
- Used over long periods of time
- Immobile in space (i.e., can't be moved, unlike more mobile capital (e.g., money))
- Value is incorporated within it; can't be moved without destorying value
- As the landscape of production changes, these investments often become less productive
“Investment in the built environment therefore entails the creation of a whole physical landscape for purposes of production, circulation, exchange and consumption.” (106)
Features of the Tertiary Circuit of Capital
- Investments in science & techonology meant to revolutionize the means of production, increase the profit rate.
- Investments in means of cooptation, cooperation, ideological means (e.g., education, housing) to ensure that workers can reproduce themselves.
- Often coordinated by the state/government, with the interests of capital in mind.
"The stable, ordered landscape of property-holding workers envisioned in the MOAP was embedded in the community-planning theory ... the possibility that homeownership could be made available to an even larger number of workers - through a combination of mass-produced tract developments and the conversion of inexpensive peripheral agricultural land - promised a more stable class order. Both government and private developers saw the ownership of property as the key to ensuring long-term bourgeois ideological consensus." (31)
Question: What is the role of the state (or government)
in transfering capital into the secondary or tertiary circuits,
or participating in the process of creative destruction?

Percent Black - 36%
Percent Poor - 16%
Percent Black - 15%
Percent Poor - 15%
Percent Black - 5.3%
Percent Poor - 6.9%
Percent Black - 63%
Percent Poor - 9.9%
Percent Black - 81%
Percent Poor - 19%
Percent Black - 47%
Percent Poor - 18%
Percent Black - 96%
Percent Poor - 26%
Percent Black - 94%
Percent Poor - 35%
Source: American Community Survey, 2005-2009 Estimates
For next week ...

What are the consequences of living in neighborhoods of concentrated poverty?

Net of our concern about poverty, should we be care whether poverty is concentrated in particular neighborhoods in the city, or if it is spread evenly across urban neighborhoods?

What are the consequences of persistent levels of racial segregation for urban residents living in segregated neighborhoods?
Lecture Outline - February 14th

I. Dismantling Detroit

II. Economic Restructuring and Deindustrialization

III. Is economic restructuring a racialized process? Why?

IV. Measuring Neighborhood Poverty Rates

V. Explaining Concentrated Poverty
II. Economic Restructuring
What does
economic restructuring

What are the key aspects of economic restructuring?
a) Automation, increased productivity and the loss of jobs on the assembly line

b) Spatial shift of the location of industrial production

c) Increased capital mobility; reindustrialization programs aimed at attracting capital into the city

d) Destruction of the built environment that no longer aids in the production process
III. How is the process of economic restructuring a racialized process?
a) Blacks were less likely to have seniority in industrial plants, and therefore more likely to be laid-off as plants automated

b) Sharp declines in the number of entry-level jobs available in industrial plants

c) Spatial mismatch in the location of jobs, the location of production
V. Measuring Neighborhood Poverty

The neighborhood poverty rate is the percentage of city residents living in high-poverty neighborhoods. We typically define a high-poverty neighborhoods as a neighborhood where at least 40 percent of residents are defined as poor, according to government estimates.

*Sometimes, we define neighborhoods as poor when 30 percent of the residents live in poverty.
How does the government define poverty?
Planning a Budget (for a family of two - one adult, one child)

Housing Expenses (Rent):
____ per month x 12 months = ______

Utilities (Electricity, Heat, etc.):
____ per month x 12 months = ______

Food Expenses:
____ per week x 52 weeks = ______

Transportation (Metrocard? Car, Gas, Insurance?):
____ per month x 12 months = _____

Annual clothing budget = _____

Recreation/Entertainment (movies, cable, music, etc.)
Annual clothing budget = _____

Other/Miscellaneous (Annual):
- Childcare = _____
- Personal (Haircuts, Medical, etc.) = _____
- Cellphone = _____
- Other = _____

Total Annual Budget?
Federal Poverty Guidelines for the 48 Contiguous States and the District of Columbia

$10,830 for a family of 1
$14,570 for a family of 2
$18,310 for a family of 3
$22,050 for a family of 4
Imagine that City X has a population of 100,000 people.
Of them, 20,000 live in a high-poverty neighborhood.
Therefore, the neighborhood poverty rate is 20 percent.
In other words, 20 percent of residents in City X live in
high-poverty neighborhoods.
What about the concentration of poverty? What is the difference between talking about the neighborhood poverty rate and the concentration of poverty in a city?
The concentration of poverty refers to the percentage of
the city's poor population living in high poverty neighborhoods.

City A has 10,000 poor people. Of them, 8,000 live in high-poverty neighborhoods. Therefore, the concentration of poverty is 80 percent. 80 percent of poor residents in City A live in high-poverty neighborhoods.

City B has 10,000 poor people. Of them, only 4,000 live in high-poverty neighborhoods. Therefore, the concentration of poverty is 40 percent. Although the number of poor people is the same as in City A, poverty is substantially less concentrated in City B.
What are the causes of concentrated neighborhood poverty? Why does poverty concentrate in particular places?
Lecture Outline - February 16th

I. Neighborhood Poverty and the Concentration of Poverty

II. Defining & Measuring Racial Segregation

III. What causes Segregation?

IV. Defining the Urban Ghetto?
Scholars of economic restructuring processes often argue that this restructuring has social, demographic and spatial implications. Based on your reading of Sugrue, what are some of the demographic, social or spatial consequences of economic restructuring in Detroit?
“As Detroit’s population shrank, it also grew poorer and blacker. Increasingly, the city became the home for the dispossessed, those marginalized in the housing market, in greater peril of unemployment, most subject to the vagaries of a troubled economy.” (149)
“The movement of firms out of the city, whether spurred by government subsidies or by market considerations, created a spatial mismatch between urban African Americans and jobs. Persistent housing discrimination combined with job flight to worsen the plight of blacks.” (141)
“Detroit seemed to embody American confidence and affluence in the aftermath of the triumph of World War II, but just when the city’s boosters proclaimed an industrial rebirth, the destructive forces of industrial capitalism began the process of economic corrosion that made Detroit the epitome of the Rust Belt. Between 1948 and 1967, Detroit lost nearly 130,000 manufacturing jobs. The number of manufacturing jobs fell by almost half in the 1950s.” (143)
What is the neighborhood poverty rate (and how do we measure it)?
#35: Fairfax Village, Hillcrest, Naylor Gardens
% Black - 93 percent
% Poor - 15 percent

#36: Garfield Heights, Knowx Hill/Buena Vista
Woodland, Normanstone
% Black - 99 percent
% Poor - 47 percent

#37: Barry Farm, Fort Stanton, Hillsdale, Sheridan
% Black - 99 percent
% Poor - 46 percent

#38: Douglass, Shipley Terrace, Skyland
% Black - 99 percent
% Poor - 46 percent

#39: Bellevue, Congress Heights, Washington Highlands
% Black - 97 percent
% Poor - 34 percent
Explanation #1: Racial segregation is actually about class, rather than race. In cities, blacks tend to have lower incomes than whites, and so racial segregation is really just the manifestation of the concentration of poverty.
Explanation #2: Racial segregation is the result of white preferences to live in mostly white neighborhoods and the complicity of other actors (e.g., real estate agents, government leaders) to abide by that preference.
Explanation #3: Racial segregation results from the preference of blacks to live in majority black neighborhoods. This preference could be the result of the social networks, the local organizations, or the shared culture in these neighborhoods.
Explanation #4: Rather than the result of any preferences, black or white, racial segregation is the result of systematic policies by the government that restrict the housing options available to blacks in cities and metropolitan areas.
The Ghetto?
Ward 8 Poverty Rate = 38%
(0.15 + 0.47 + 0.46 + 0.46 + 0.34)/5 =0.38
Index of Dissimilarity - Washington, DC
(based on the 2000 Census)
Index of Dissimilarity - Portland, OR
(based on the 2000 Census)
Index of Dissimilarity - Boston, MA
(based on the 2000 Census)
(Assuming, of course, that you consider Boston to
be a city ... )
Index of Dissimilarity - New York, NY
(based on the 2000 Census)
Top Seven (Black/White) Segregated Metropolitan Areas
1. Gary, Indiana (87.9)
2. Detroit, MI (86.7)
3. Milwaukee-Waukesha, WI (84.4)
4. New York, NY (84.3)
5. Chicago, IL (83.6)
6. Newark, NJ (83.4)
7. Flint, MI (81.2)

What about Washington, DC?!
Exposure Index - Washington, DC
(based on the 2000 Census)
Washington, DC Exposure Index for Whites & Blacks

In the average neighborhood where a white resident of
Washington, DC lives, the neighborhood is ...
- 67.6 percent white
- 16.7 percent black
- 15.7 percent another race

In the average neighborhood where a black resident of
Washington, DC lives, the neighborhood is ...
- 7.8 percent white
- 83.5 percent black
- 8.7 percent another race
Exposure Index - Portland, OR
(based on the 2000 Census)
Exposure Index - Beantown
(based on the 2000 Census)
Exposure Index - New York, NY
(based on the 2000 Census)
Index of Dissimilarity: A measure of the relative separation or integration of groups across all neighborhoods of a city, the index of dissimilarity reports the percentage of residents of each race that would have to move to achieve parity (i.e., equal distribution of the population by race).
Exposure Index: The exposure index measures the average racial composition of neighborhoods experienced by members of each racial group. (Think of it this way: walking down the street in the average neighborhood experienced by individuals of a particular race, what percentage of residents would be black, white, etc. ... )
How do we measure racial segregation?
Explaining Racial Segregation:
From your readings, your experience, and your critical thinking, what are the factors that explain persistent levels of racial segregation in American cities?
Are there other explanations that explain the continued segregation of American cities? How is racial segregation interwoven with other structures of inequality in the United States?
How do each of these practices/
policies shape the housing options
available to black citizens?

- Block busting.
- Steering.
- Redlining.
- The Construction of Public Housing.
- Urban Renewal.
Block busting - Using the threat of racial
change to get white property owners to
sell their property at a discount; selling to
black households, to whom fewer housing
options were available, at a premium.
Steering - When black and white citizens are
guided to different neighborhoods, based on
the racial, socioeconomic, or other characteristics
of the neighborhoods.
Redlining - Federal agencies that backed housing
mortgages color-coded neighborhoods, based on
their level of "risk". Risk was primarily associated
with the level or threat of racial integration/change.
Predominantly African-American neighborhoods were red-lined (the lowest color-coding), severely restricting the availability of mortgage lending in these neighborhoods. This process resulted in increased disinvestment from predominantly African-American neighborhoods.
Public Housing - "A variety of case studies, policy analyses, and court documents have argued that American public housing is highly segregated by race and ethnicity and that it constitutes a new, institutionalized ghetto that is far more permanent than the de facto segregation of earlier eras ... Black segregation is more deleterious when it occurs in the public rather than the private sectro, since public housing imposes an additional element of class isolation supplement the high degree of racial isolation that black families normally experience in U.S. cities." Bickford and Massey (1991)
What is racial segregation?
(How does it relate to the Chicago School theorists?)
- the racialization of urban space, manifestation of segregation
- lack of integration into the broader urban structure/institutions
- coherent internal structure (or characterized by disorder?)
- only for African-American neighborhoods, or for other ethnic neighborhoods?
- result of involuntary processes (i.e., involuntary segregation)
What is
"Moving to Health or Avoiding Equality?:
Place-Based Stigma's Role in Structuring Spatial Health Inequality."

Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Car Barn 427
2:00 PM to 3:30 PM
Moving to Opportunity (MTO)
Three Groups:
1) MTO Low Poverty Voucher (LPV) Group
2) Traditional Voucher (Section 8) Group
3) Control Group
Lecture Outline (February 21st)

I. Defining the Ghetto

II. Introducing Urban Ethnographies (via Goffman's On the Run)

III. Why does living high-poverty or racially segregated neighborhoods impact behaviors or outcomes?

IV. Thinking about Neighborhood Effects: Moving to Opportunity
II. Introducing Urban Ethnographies
Questions about Goffman's On the Run:

I) What are the consequences of the American penal system for men in Goffman's Philadelphia Ghetto?

II) How does their involvement in the penal system shape their interaction with institutions (e.g., schools, the police, hospitals)?

III) How do the women in her story exhibit a level of social control?

IV) How do the consequences of involvement in the penal system extend beyond the men themselves, influencing their social networks more broadly?
III. Why does living high-poverty or racially segregated neighborhoods impact behaviors or outcomes?
1. Contagion Model
II. Social Control Model
III. Relative Deprivation Model
IV. Neighborhood Institutions/Organizations Model
V. "No Effects" Model
IV. Neighborhood Effects (via Moving to Opportunity)
What is the "gold standard" for scientific research?
What is the "gold standard" for scientific research?
The model essentially argues that behaviors are "contagious". Children who grow up in neighborhoods where lots of people commit crimes or drop out of school are more likely to do so themselves. In essence, neighborhoods structure social interactions, the presences of role models, and the types of behaviors people emulate.
The social control model suggests that residents of high SES neighborhoods are more like to enforce middle-class norms, report deviant behavior to authorities and work informally to maintain the public order.
Unlike the previous two models, which suggest better outcomes in high SES neighborhoods, the relative deprivation model suggests that high SES neighborhoods could pose a disadvantage to low SES individuals because they may compare themselves to their neighbors and become discouraged, feel resentment, or find it more difficult to rise through the ranks.
This model argues that it's not neighbors that matter (as role models, for their social capital connections, or as a comparison unit), but rather the neighborhood institutions available in particular places. High SES neighborhoods might have better police protection, more organized political voice, stronger public schools, or better access to transportation.
This model suggests that neighbors and neighborhoods don't matter. People don't model their behavior off of the behaviors of other people.
What is an ethnography?
Why choose ethnography?
- Crime victimization, feelings of safety
- Adult labor market outcomes
- Psychological distress, BMI/Health
- Educational Achievement (Boys, Girls)
- Criminal behavior, drug use, psychological health (Boys, Girls)
- Crime victimization, feelings of safety
In low-poverty neighborhoods, less victimization, less likely to feel unsafe
- Adult labor market outcomes
No change in labor market outcomes
- Psychological distress, BMI/Health
In low-poverty neighborhoods, less psychological distress, healthier BMIs
- Educational Achievement (Boys, Girls)
No change in educational achievement
- Criminal behavior, drug use, psychological health (Boys, Girls)
Decreased criminal involvement for girls; increased criminal behavior for boys
V. Urban Demography in Washington, DC

What do demographers study?
Outline (February 23rd)
I. Mike Bader's Talk - Neighborhoods & Health
II. Returning to the Ghetto - Definitions & Debates
III. Ethnic Enclaves?
IV. No Longer a City in Black and White? Mike Davis and Magical Urbanism
V. Urban Demography in Washington, DC
VI. Papers & Exams
Massey & Denton describe ghettos as “… a set of neighborhoods that are exclusively inhabited by members of one group, within which virtually all members of that group live.”
Jargowsky & Bane define “… a ghetto as an area in which the overall poverty rate in a census tract is greater than 40 percent. The ghetto poor are then those poor, of any race or ethnic group, who live in such high-poverty neighborhoods.”
Wacquant, reacting to Jargowsky’s income-based definition, writes that by removing segregation as a key characteristic of the ghetto, “it transforms a relational notion … into a falsely neutral, gradational construct ostensibly pegged on income level … The result is that, for the first time in its long life in America, the concept of ‘ghetto’ has been stripped of its ethnoracial referent and denuded of any mention of group power and oppression.”
Patillo emphasizes, “racial segregation and subjugation as the key identifiers of ghettos, rather than viewing poverty as the characteristic condition.”
III. Ethnic Enclaves?
What explains the persistence of ethnic enclaves in the city, especially in a post-industrial economy? Are the reasons for the persistence of these ethnic enclaves the same (or similar) to those for the persistence of segregated black neighborhoods?
IV. No Longer a City in Black and White? Mike Davis & Magical Urbanism
II. Returning to the Ghetto - Definitions & Debates
What reasons does Mario Luis Small give to abandon the idea of the ghetto?

Are his claims convincing? Do they merit reconsidering our use of the term "ghetto" as an analytic category for thinking about urban neighborhoods?
Connections to ...
the Chicago School, spatial patterns within cities (differing between cities - primary barrios, polycentric barrios, mosaic)
economic restructuring
preferences for cities, rather than suburbs?
countering white flight, black out-migration - new types of segregation within cities
differences within the Latino population
cross-border flows (globalization, mobility of labor)
VI. Final Paper/Exam & Midterm Exam
Midterm Review:
1. Midterm Course Evaluation
2. Overview of Midterm
3. Defining Key Terms
4. Answering Eight Questions

• Urbanization vs. Urbanism
• The capitalist mode of production
• Fordist production
• Uneven development
• Gemeinschaft vs. Gesellschaft
• Use value vs. exchange value
• The growth machine
• The blasé attitude
• Adaptive responses to urban life

• Human ecology model
• Capital mobility
• Economic restructuring
• Surplus value
• Block busting
• Urban renewal
• Index of dissimilarity
• The second circuit of capital
• Structural speculators

• For David Harvey, why is it critical to think of the urban process under capitalism?

• Compare the design of the Garden City to the design of the Radiant City?

• What criteria does Wirth think are important to a sociological definition of the city? Why?

• Outline the spatial implications of economic restructuring in Detroit.

• What is an urban ethnography? Describe the advantages/disadvantages of this research method?

• What is the central argument Denton and Massey make about the causes of racial segregation? Offer one critique of this argument.

• How does the “social control” model explain why children living in low-poverty neighborhoods might experience better educational outcomes?

• What actions might local property owners take to increase the exchange value of their property?

• 4-5 short-answer questions
• 6-7 options
• 10-15 minutes each
• Explain & (critique | evaluate | opine)
• 75 minutes. Focus.
• Musical chairs
• Lectures and texts

• Lecture: Are the lectures clear? Do they tie key concepts from the reading into broader themes?

• Discussion: Is the in-class discussion helpful to your understanding of course material? How can we improve the discussion component of the course? (More focused questions? Small group discussion? Mandatory participation?)

• Reaction papers: Are the reaction papers useful in thinking through the relationship between your readings and your experience of cities? Are the expectations for the papers clear?

• Readings: How is the quantity of reading? Have the readings generally been engaging, thought-provoking and – dare I ask – interesting? Any texts you particularly enjoyed/did not enjoy (and why)?
Q1: What are the causes of suburbanization in the United States?
Q2: What are the consequences of suburbanization in the United States?
Q3: How does the development of the suburbs relate to the growth and decline of cities?
According to Peter Hall, the growth of the American suburb is related to four fundamental facts about mid-century America ...
A Nation of Car Owners?
A Nation of Home Owners?
post-WWII explosion of the suburbs
entry-level suburban homes, built largely for returning veterans & their families
mass-produced, faux Cape Cod-style homes in several variations
socially/racially segregated
critique of a particularly gendered neighborhood/home
After calling the mass suburbs "anti-city", the critic Lewis Mumford writes, "Under the present dispensation we have sold our urban birthright for a sorry mess of motor cars ... By allowing mass transportation to deteriorate and by building expressways out of the city and parking garages within, in order to encourage the maximum use of the private car, our highway engineers and city planners have helped to destory the living tissue of the city and to limit the possibilities of creating a larger urban organism on a regional scale."
According to Gans, "Although they are citizens of a national polity and their lives are shaped by national economic, social, and political forces, Levittowners deceive themselves into thinking that the community, or rather the home, is the single most influential unit in their lives. Of course, in one way they are right; it is the place where they can be most influential, for if they cannot persuade the decision-makers, they can influence family members. Home is also the site of maximal freedom, for within its walls people can do what they want more easily than anywhere else ..."
According to Paul Goldberger, the New York Times architecture critic, "Levittown houses were social creations more than architectural ones - they turned the detached, single-family house from a distant dream to a real possibility for thousands of middle-class American families."
As Levitt noted, "We can solve the housing problem, or we can try to solve the race problem, but we cannot combine the two."
Lecture Outline (3/13/12)
1. Exams, Papers, etc.
II. Analyzing the Suburbs: Causes, Consequences, Cities
III. Levittown, NY
IV. Beyond Suburbia
Extra Credit:
Tour: Saturday, March 24th at 10:40 a.m. in Dupont Circle
Poll checkers!
DC Presidential Primary on April 3, 2012.
University Legal Services - Protection & Advocacy Division
Victoria Thomas
Viewing: Monday, March 19th @ 7:30?

National Interstate and Defense Highway Act
(1956 Federal Aid Highway Act) connecting
cities with suburbs, encouraging flight from
cities and promoting automobility.
National Housing Act of 1934
(Federal Housing Administration)
leads to the long-term, amortizing
loans (of 25-30 years).
Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944
(or the GI Bill) helped returning veterans
buy homes.
Life on the Edge ...
Decentralized metropolitan developments
that combine employment opportunities, leisure activities and residential enclaves.
Edge Cities
Technoburbs (unlike suburbia): No longer dependent on the functions and services of the central city, due largely to advances in communications technology!
Edge Cities:
"Cities, because they contain all the functions a city ever has, albeit in a spread-out form that few have come to recognize for what it is. Edge, because they are a vigorous world of pioneers and immigrants, rising far from the old downtowns, where little save villages or farmland lay only thirty years before.”
Ben Adler, writing in The Next American City, about going after the automobile culture in America ... "The real challenge we face as a country is not perfecting New York but improving the suburbs and newer cities, where the overwhelming majority of population growth has occurred in recent years. As I demonstrate in my piece, by visiting Leesburg, Virginia, a typical American exurb, without a car, local and regional planning has made most exurbs entirely dependent on cars. But it does not need to be that way.
Tyson's Corner
Massive subdivisions of residential communities, numbering more than 100,000 in population, but without a central business district.
Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA)
"A large population nucleus, together
with adjacent communities, having a
high degree of social & economic
integration with the core."
Five Characteristics of Edge Cities ...
Leaseable office space
Leasable retail sapce
More than simply "bedroom" communities
Public perceptions as a "place"
New (stands where nothing resembling a city stood before)
What is sprawl?
Sprawl in Los Angeles
How do you measure sprawl?
1. Residential Density
II. Mix of jobs, shopping and housing
III. Centers of activity
IV. Street Networks
What are the consequences?
According to Brugeman, what is the cause of it?
Cultural preferences?
Government subsidies?
Rising affluence?
Technological change?
Economic systems?
Lecture (3/15/12)
1. Gendering Suburbia?
2. Defining Sprawl
3. Life on the Edge: Edge Cities
Tecnoburbs, Exurbs, Boomburgs
4: TED Talk: Retrofitting Suburbia
5. Beyond Cities, Suburbs & Edge
Cities: Metropolitan Regions
6. Megaregions and Endless Cities
Car ownership
Pollution levels
Automobile Fatalities
Lower levels of alternative transportation
Social interaction?
The Metropolis
(or Metropolitan Region)
As metropolitan regions continue to grow, their boundaries begin to blur, resulting in new questions of geographic scale. Megaregions are places with interlocking economic systems, shared resources, and common transportation infrastructures that link major population centers together.
From the UK Guardian (3/22/10):
"The world's mega-cities are merging to form vast "mega-regions" which may stretch hundreds of kilometres across countries and be home to more than 100 million people, according to a major new UN report. The phenomenon of the so-called "
endless city
" could be one of the most significant developments - and problems - in the way people live and economies grow in the next 50 years, says UN-Habitat, the agency for human settlements, which identifies the trend of developing mega-regions in its biannual State of World Cities report."
I. Defining Gentrification
“One by one, many of the working class quarters of London have been invaded by the middle classes – upper and lower. Shabby, modest mews and cottages – two rooms up and two rooms down – have been taken over, when their leases have expired, and have become elegant, expensive residences. Larger Victorian houses, downgraded in an earlier or recent period – which were used as lodging houses or were otherwise in multiple occupation – have been upgraded once again … Once this process of ‘gentrification’ starts in a district it goes on rapidly until all or most of the original working class occupiers are displaced and the social character of the district is changed.” (Glass 1964)
“By gentrification, I mean the process by which working class residential neighbourhoods are rehabilitated by middle class homebuyers, landlords and professional developers. I make the theoretical distinction between gentrification and redevelopment. Redevelopment involves not rehabilitation of old structures but the construction of new buildings on previously developed land.” (Smith 1982)
“Gentrification is no longer about a narrow and quixiotic oddity in the housing market, but has become the leading residential edge of a much larger endeavor: the class remake of the central urban landscape.” (Smith 1996)
“… an economic and social process whereby private capital (real estate firms, developers) and individual homeowners and renters reinvest in fiscally neglected neighborhoods (or towns) through housing rehabilitation, loft conversions, and the construction of new housing.” (Perez 2004)
“Importantly, gentrification is also supported by public investment of funds preceding or following the moving in of the gentry: typically young, highly educated individuals. Gentrifiers’ motivations for moving to the central city or small town are varied, but some do so as an investment strategy or to find affordable housing, employment, or cultural amenities. The gentry’s residential choices, together with public and commercial investment, result in the economic, political, and cultural transformation of neighborhoods and towns. Most notably, gentrification breeds rising housing costs and infrastructure transformations geared toward gentrifiers.” (Brown-Saracino 2009)
II. Why do people gentrify neighborhoods?
Option 1: Demand-side arguments

Gentrification is about being close to urban ammenities (e.g., restaurants, bars, cultural institutions, etc.)

Gentrification is about valuing diverse, integrated urban neighborhoods (and the subsequent search for authenticity)

Gentrification is a reaction against the sterility of the suburbs and the middle-class values/expectations of suburban life.

Gentrification is an expression of the personal preferences of the middle/upper-middle class
Option 2: Supply-side arguments

Gentrification is an investment strategy whereby mobile capital searches for undervalued investments.

Gentrification is a consequence of broader global economic shifts, with both capital and labor more mobile in their search for productive investments.

Gentrification represents a form of class conflict as the landscape of the city reemerges as the site for battles between the working class and the upper/middle class.
Other explanations of gentrification?
III. Yuppies, Hipsters and DINKs, Oh My!:
Who gentrifies urban neighborhoods?
Three types of newcomers/gentrifiers, according to Brown-Saracino (2004)

1. Social Preservationists: Desire to live in authentic neighborhoods/communities; despite their newness, they worry about other newcomers diluting the authenticity of the neighborhood and threatening community; they view old-timers as desirable.

II. Social Homesteaders: Move with the desire to improve the amenities available in local neighborhoods with maintaining the authenticity and affordability; look towards newcomers as potential allies in preserving and improving the local community.

III. Urban Pioneers: Arrive in neighborhoods primarily with the goals of affordable housing, economic gain; theirs is a vision of the "frontier" to be conquered, tamed; they welcome fellow pioneers/gentrifiers and are often threatened by old-timers.
IV. Key Concepts and Ideas in the Gentrification Debates
Rent-Gap Theory
The rent gap is the difference between the potential rent (i.e., value) of a piece of property and actual rent (i.e., actual value) given the current land use.

The central idea behind the rent gap theory is that properties in gentrifying neighborhoods are substantially undervalued relative to their potential, and gentrification is an attempt to close the gap - i.e., to raise the actual value to its highest potential.
Displacement occurs when old-timers are forced out of their neighborhoods by rising housing values.

Two questions, one empirical and one normative:

1. Does displacement occur as a result of gentrification?

II. If so, should we view that negatively, or as a natural consequence of urban growth and change (not unlike the model of invasion and succession of the Chicago School, albeit in reverse)
The Revanchist City?
Coined by Neil Smith, the Revanchist City suggests a transformation to a neo-liberal urban regime characterized by revenge and antipathy towards minority groups, including racial minorities and the urban poor. Gentrification was part of a larger "strategy" to further marginalize the working poor, end affirmative action, deny rights to immigrant communities, etc. It was fueled by economic recession that triggered class anxieties among middle-class whites and growing fears of urban centers fueled by media representations at the time.
The Right to the City?
V. Is gentrification good for communities?
VI. Confessions of a Black Gentrifier
Lecture - 3/20/12

1. Gentrifying DC

II. Defining Gentrification

III. Why do people gentrify neighborhoods?

IV. Yuppies, Hipsters and DINKs, Oh My!:
Who gentrifies urban neighborhoods?

V. Key Concepts & Ideas in the Gentrification Debates

VI. Is Gentrification Good for Communities?

VII. Confessions of a Black Gentrifier
Lecture (3/22/12)

I. Displacement Discussion

II. Do The Right Thing

III. Confessions of a Black Gentrifier

IV. Sharon Zukin on Artists, Authenticity and the Gentrification Process
“But around 1970, as the bare, polished wood floors, exposed red brick walls, and cast-iron facades of these “artists’ quarters” gained increasing public notice, the economic and aesthetic virtues of “loft living” were transformed into bourgeois chic. In large numbers, middle-class and upper middle-class residents began moving into lofts, too.”
Artists --> Culture -- > Capital Investments
“A ‘recycling’ of older buildings is the keystone of a new urban movement that may be for the late 1970s what the brownstone revival was for the early part of the decade – a method of channeling investment back into the center city and propping up what had been until recently an altogether depressed real estate market in many cities.”
DuPont Underground Tour
Saturday at 10:45 a.m.
Meeting at COSI on Connecticut & R St.
Bring a flashlight & wear close-toed shoes
Final Papers
If you intend to write a final paper (rather than
take a final exam), you MUST meet with me (or
communicate via email) about your proposed
paper topic BEFORE Easter Break!
“The desire for an authentic urban experience began as a reaction to the urban crisis of the 1960s, when American cities were routinely described as hopeless victims of a fatal disease … By the 1980s new communities of artists stretched through the old districts of Lower Manhattan, and by the 1990s they extended across the East River to Brooklyn and Queens. The concentration of artists in SoHo, the East Village, and Williamsburg confirmed these areas’ distinctive appeal and emphasized their otherness to the enforced homogeneity of both the suburbs and the city’s corporate center. These neighborhoods were intensely cool, identifiably local, and ethnically diverse.”
Artistic quarters as a reaction against the crisis
of cities and the homogeneity of the suburbs
“Like other arts districts, Williamsburg’s viability depended not just on the presence of artists, writers, and musicians, but also on their ability to become
cultural entrepreneurs
… The clubs and galleries that they organized were small, but they became social centers for both fellow artists and young cultural consumers who wanted to be around them …”

What does an "authentic" urban
neighborhood look like?

Is gentrification compatible with
the search for "authenticity"?
Plan: April 24th
I. Extra Credit!
II. Course overview with an eye to remaking the city.
III. The Future of Cities?
IV. What to read (after Thursday)
V. Just Cities Debates: Fainstein and Harvey
VI. Social Justice and the City
III. The Future of Cities?
IV. What to read (after Thursday)
V. Just Cities Debate
Seven Fastest Growing Cities, according to
Foreign Policy Magazine

1. Beihai, China
2. Ghaziabad, India
3. Sanaa, Yemen
4. Surat, India
5. Kabul, Afghanistan
6. Bamako, Mali
7. Lagos, Nigeria
Susan Fainstein
Concerned about the disproportionate focus on economic growth in the process of urban planning and public policy.

Argues that questions of justice - centered around issues of equity, democracy and diversity - should inform these discussions, as well.
Limited to feasibility within Western, capitalist democracies.
“Although the resources available to cities are determined largely by higher levels of government and the autonomous decisions of private investors, local public policy making still affects who gets what and is not fully constrained. The choice of objects of investment (e.g., stadium vs. housing; infrastructure vs. incentives to private developers; schools vs. convention centers) as well as locational decisions (e.g., where to put bus station or public housing) is made by local governments.” (7)
Focus on "Nonreformist Reforms"

What is possible given the constrained autonomy of cities as actors?
What is possible given the permanence of the capitalist economic system?

Settles between an affirmative strategy, which leaves the underlying social structure untouched, and a transformative strategy, which work to change the structures that give rise to inequalities, by promoting nonreformist reforms
Differing conceptions of a just city, focused either democratic decision-making processes or fair, equitable outcomes.
David Harvey
“Calmness and civility in urban history are the exception, not the rule,” Harvey writes.
Centrally concerned with what he calls the "right to the city," a concept passed down from the French theorist Henri Lefebvre.
“We are, all of us, architects, of a short. We individually and collectively make the city through our daily actions and our political, intellectual and economic engagements. But, in return, the city makes us.”
Harvey is concerned that a single right - the right to private property and, in turn, the right to make a profit - trumps all other rights. Instead, he wants a right to the city - "an active right to make the city different, to shape it more in accord with our heart's desire, and to remake ourselves thereby in a different image."
Social Justice and the City
Full transcript