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Word Count: 662
Urban Renewal in Boston the West End and Government Center Bostons West End is the most well documented neighborhood destroyed by urban renewal made famous initially by Herbert Ganss book The Urban Villagers 1962 Although approximately 63 percent of the families displaced by urban renewal were African-American or Hispanic this Boston community was mainly inhabited by working class Italians It was a little piece of Italy with narrow winding streets alive with urban social life Too crowded and unAmerican for the middle class tastes of City planners it fell to the bulldozer in 1959 and was replaced by high rise expensive apartment buildings ------------------------------------------------ It is difficult for me to isolate the impact of URBAN VILLAGERS In my experience it was but one contribution to growing criticism of urban renewal in the early 1960s and with that the physical orientation of urban planning that urban renewal represented Shortly after it was published I was both a writing my dissertation in urban geography at Clark University and a project director in urban renewal so I witnessed the impact in both urban renewal planning circles and in the more academic arena It was part of the drum of criticism that led to the 1966 Model Cities Act and the redefinition of urban renewal and rethinking of the field of urban planning I think the impact of the URBAN VILLAGERS might best evaluated as part of a creeping barrage of critical writing led off by Jacobs and Death and Life in 1961 Urban Villagers was published in 63 and Martin Anderson weighed in from the right in 64 with The Federal Bulldozer At the same time planners such as Paul Davidoff Advocacy and Pluralism in Planning JAIP 1965 were mounting a critique within the field of planning Jay Steins Classic Readings in Urban Planning 1995 includes some writing from this period In 1965 The National Council of Mayors published
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