Model City Blues: Urban Space and Organized Resistance in by Mandi Isaacs Jackson

By Mandi Isaacs Jackson

Telling the tale of ways typical humans, dealing with the altering urban panorama, fought for his or her personal version of the 'ideal urban' by means of developing grassroots plans for city renewal, this booklet bargains an account of equipped resistance to institutional plans to remodel New Haven, Connecticut within the Nineteen Sixties.

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Extra info for Model City Blues: Urban Space and Organized Resistance in New Haven

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Clearly, resistance to urban renewal was intensely personal, complex, and multilayered, and it manifested itself in many different forms. Was this letter a form of “citizen participation”? What did it mean for the city to have a master plan, or even a particular redevelopment scheme, without any real obligation to account for all of the Victoria Thomases who occupied the exact square feet of space depicted in the city’s commissioned scale models and blueprints of the Oak Street Connector? The mayor did eventually respond to Victoria Thomas’ letter, along with a note of apology for his late response (perhaps also at Mrs.

There are thousands of names ahead of mine,” she wrote in her letter to the mayor, on Hamilton and Co. letterhead. She wrote at the suggestion of the mayor’s wife, Ellen, who happened to come into the store one November afternoon. Miss Thomas considered herself a friend of the mayor’s wife, and thought perhaps this connection might facilitate some resolution to her problem. ” she asked, disquieted by the thought of highway traffic replacing not just her home, but also her neighborhood. ” She sealed the envelope and wrote the word “personal” across the outside (perhaps at Mrs.

These events marked both a more aggressive era in community organizing and a more oppressive response to a newly organized black community. To a large extent, the neighborhood’s identity was formed around opposition to “downtown”—meaning both the physical space that was New Haven’s central business district and center of government, and the officials and institutions (such as the mayor, the RA, and particularly the police) with which that area was associated. The Hill was physically and socially separated from downtown by the construction of two wide frontage roads, and the city’s renewal plans would exacerbate that situation by fully amputating the Hill from centers of business and government with the construction of 22 / Introduction the Ring Road.

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