The concept of urban blight in Urban Renewal policies in the United States

Author/s Sonia Paone
Publishing Year 2022 Issue 2022/128
Language Italian Pages 15 P. 144-158 File size 202 KB
DOI 10.3280/SUR2022-128012
DOI is like a bar code for intellectual property: to have more infomation click here

Below, you can see the article first page

If you want to buy this article in PDF format, you can do it, following the instructions to buy download credits

Article preview

FrancoAngeli is member of Publishers International Linking Association, Inc (PILA), a not-for-profit association which run the CrossRef service enabling links to and from online scholarly content.

The article analyzes the genesis of the concept of urban blight in urban renewal policies that were implemented in the fifties and sixties in the cities of the United States. The goal is to highlight the discriminatory logic that accompanied the imposition of this term in the public debate and its consequences on removing African American families from the central areas (inner cities) of American cities. Therefore, the construction of the urban blight is part of the broader discourse on the racialization of space that characterizes the US urban experience.

Keywords: urban renewal, race, urban marginality, blight, inner city, slum

  1. Alexander R.E., Bryant D.S. (1951). Rebuilding a city: A Study of Redevelopment Problems in Los Angeles. Los Angeles: Haynes Foundation.
  2. Andersen M. (1964). The Federal Bulldozer: A Critical Analysis of Urban Renewal, 1949-1962. Cambridge: MIT Press.
  3. Angotti T. (2008). New York for Sale: Community Planning Confronts Global Real Estate. Cambridge: MIT Press.
  4. Bairati P. (1987). La città nord-americana. In Rossi P. (a cura di). Modelli di città. Torino: Edizioni di Comunità.
  5. Bayor R. (1966). Race and the Shaping of Twentieth Century Atlanta. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.
  6. Beauregard R.A. (2003). Voice of Decline, the Post-war Fate of Us Cities. London: Routledge.
  7. Davis M. (2006). Il pianeta degli slum. Milano: Feltrinelli.
  8. Drake C., Cayton H. (1964). Black Metropolis. New York: Harper & Row.
  9. Du Bois W.E.B. (1899). The Philadelphia Negro: A social study. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.
  10. Ehrenhalt A. (2012). The Great Inversion and the Future of the American City. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.
  11. Epstein R.A. (1985). Private Property and the Power of Eminent Domain. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
  12. Fishman R. (1987). Bourgeois Utopia. The Rise and the Fall of Suburbia. New York: Basic Books.
  13. Flanagan W.G. (2010). Urban sociology: images and structure. New York: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
  14. Fogelson R.M. (2001). Downtown: Its Rise and Fall, 1880–1950. New Haven & London: Yale University Press.
  15. Freund D.M.P. (2007). Colored Property: State Policy and White Racial Politics in Suburban America. Chicago: Chicago University Press.
  16. Gans H.J. (1983). The Lewittoners. Ways of Life and Politics in a New Suburban Community. New York: Columbia University Press.
  17. Gelfand M.I. (1975). A Nation of Cities: The Federal Government and Urban America 1933-1965. New York: Oxford University Press.
  18. Ginsberg B. (1971). Berman v. Parker: Congress, the Court & Public Purpose. Polity, 1: 48-75.
  19. Gillette H. (1995). Between Justice and Beauty: Race, Planning and the Failure of Urban Policies in Washington DC. Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press.
  20. Gotham K.F. (2014). Race, Real Estate and Uneven Development. The Kansas City Experience (1900-2010). Albany: State University of New York Press.
  21. Gordon C. (2003). Blighting the Way: Urban Renewal, Economic Development, and the Elusive Definition of Blight. Fordham Urban Law Journal, 31: 305-37.
  22. Hillier, A.E. (2003). Redlining and the Homeowners’ Loan Corporation. Journal of Urban History, 29(4): 394-420. DOI: 10.1177/009614420302900400
  23. Hillman A., Casey R.J. (1953). Tomorrow’s Chicago. Chicago: Chicago University Press.
  24. Hirsch A.R. (1983). Making the second ghetto: Race and housing in Chicago 1940-1960. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  25. Jackson K.T. (1985). Crabgrass Frontier: The Suburbanization of the United States. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  26. Kalifa D. (2013). Les bas-fonds. Histoire d'un imaginaire. Paris: Seuil.
  27. Lavine A. (2010). Urban Renewal and the Story of Berman v. Parker. The Urban Lawyer, 20: 423-475.
  28. Logan J.R., Molotch H.L. (1987). Urban Fortunes. The Political Economy of Place. Los Angeles: University of California Press.
  29. Massey D.S, Denton N. (1993). American Apartheid. Segregation and the Making of the Underclass. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
  30. Marks C. (1989). Farewell-We’re Good and Gone. The Great Migration. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
  31. Mayne A. (2018). Slum. The History of Global Injustice. London: Reaktion Books.
  32. Mazza L. (2015). Spazio e cittadinanza. Roma: Donzelli.
  33. Molotch H. (1976). The City as Growth Machine: Toward a Political Economy of Place. American Journal of Sociology, 82: 309-332.
  34. Morris A. (2015). The Scholar Denied. W.E.B. Du Bois and the Birth of Modern Sociology. Oakland: University of California Press.
  35. Mumford L. (2002). La città nella storia. Milano: Bompiani.
  36. Paone S. (2018). La crescita planetaria degli insediamenti informali. In Paone S., Petrillo A., Chiodelli F. Governare l’ingovernabile. Politiche degli slum nel XXI secolo. Pisa: Ets.
  37. Pritchett W.E. (2003). The Public Menace of Blight: Urban Renewal and the Private Uses of Eminent Domain. Yale Law & Policy Review, 21: 1-52.
  38. Randolph B. (2017). Emerging Geographies of Suburban Disadvantage. In Hannigan J., Richards G. (eds). The Sage Handbook in New Urban Studies. London: Sage.
  39. Silver C. (2006). The Racial Origins of Zoning in American Cities. In Thomas J.M., Riztford T. (eds). Urban Planning and the African American Community: In the Shadows, Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.
  40. Sugrue T. (1996). The Origins of the Urban Crisis: Race and Inequality in Post-war Detroit. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
  41. Supreme Court of the United States (1954). Decision Berman vs. Parker 348 u.s. 22.
  42. Teaford J. (1990). Rough Road to Renaissance: Urban Revitalization in America 1940-1985. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.
  43. United States National Capital Planning Commission (1952). Redevelopment Plan; Southwest Redevelopment Project, Area B; A report of Existing Conditions and a Plan for Development Adopted on October 24, 1952, Washington D.C.
  44. Wacquant L. (2016). I reietti della città. Ghetto, periferia, stato. Pisa: ETS.
  45. Walker M. (1938). Urban Blight and Slums: Economic and Legal Factors in their Origin, Reclamation and Prevention. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
  46. Wilson J.Q. (1966). Urban Renewal: The Record and the Controversy. Cambridge: Mit University Press.
  47. Wilson D. (1996). Metaphors, Growth Coalition Discourses, and Black Poverty Neighbourhoods in US City. Antipode, 28: 72-96.
  48. Zimmer B.G. (1975). The Urban Centrifugal Drift. In Hawley A.H., Rock V.P. (eds). Metropolitan America in Contemporary Perspective. New York: John Wiley & Sons.

Sonia Paone, Il concetto di urban blight nelle politiche di Urban Renewal negli Stati Uniti in "SOCIOLOGIA URBANA E RURALE" 128/2022, pp 144-158, DOI: 10.3280/SUR2022-128012