“To Plan Our Own Community”

Roberta Gold

in When Tenants Claimed the City

Published by University of Illinois Press

Published in print March 2014 | ISBN: 9780252038181
Published online April 2017 | e-ISBN: 9780252095986 | DOI:
“To Plan Our Own Community”

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This chapter examines the democratically planned state-sponsored projects that became possible due to the new banner of cooperation between government and grassroots organizers. It first provides an overview of the battle over community control of housing development before discussing a number of New York's War on Poverty initiatives such as the Upper Park Avenue Community Association (UPACA), along with their significance for community-based housing activism. It also considers efforts to involve African Americans in economic development, the involvement of women in grassroots development planning, and the creation of community development corporations (CDCs). Finally, it describes Model Cities, an urban initiative designed to engage “the community” by inviting neighborhood participation in planning and attacking many problems at once. The successful projects showed not only that democratic state-sponsored urban renewal was possible, but that New York's tenant history made a difference.

Keywords: community control; housing; housing development; War on Poverty; housing activism; economic development; women; grassroots development planning; Model Cities; urban renewal

Chapter.  12268 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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