Democratizing Urban Development
Community Organizations for Housing across the United States and Brazil
Publication: May 18
Publication: May 18
Publication: May 18
5.5 x 8.25
Examining how community organizations fight to prevent displacement and secure affordable housing across cities in the U.S. and BrazilRead the Introduction (pdf).
Rising housing costs put secure and decent housing in central urban neighborhoods in peril. How do civil society organizations (CSOs) effectively demand accountability from the state to address the needs of low-income residents? In her groundbreaking book, Democratizing Urban Development, Maureen Donaghy charts the constraints and potential opportunities facing these community organizations. She assesses the various strategies CSOs engage to influence officials and ensure access to affordable housing through policies, programs, and institutions.
Democratizing Urban Development presents efforts by CSOs in four cities across the hemispheric divide: Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Washington, DC, and Atlanta. Donaghy studies the impact and outcomes that ensue from these efforts, noting that CSOs must sometimes shift their own ideology or adapt to the political environment in which they operate to ensure access to housing and support the goals of an inclusive city.
"Democratizing Urban Development is a particularly noteworthy book with an especially appealing four-city, North-South scope. In command of a vast literature, Donaghy offers an inspired analysis that links social movement with urban development struggles. The combination of housing and urban work makes this book a pathbreaking volume for comparative urban research."
—Clarence Stone, Research Professor of Political Science and Public Policy, George Washington University, and author of Regime Politics: Governing Atlanta, 1946–1988
"Throughout the world, big cities are struggling to provide housing for their growing populations. Accommodation issues are particularly acute for members of lower-income groups, who are increasingly being challenged by gentrification and real estate development. In her pioneering comparative study, Democratizing Urban Development , Maureen Donaghy deftly tells the story of how local communities and their supporting organizations in four cities—two in Brazil, two in the United States—push against the prevailing tendencies of marginalization and polarization. The unusual compilation of cases from both developed and transitional cities yields some exceptional nuggets of insight into a problem that, in many respects, appears to be virtually intractable."
— Richard Stren, Professor Emeritus of Political Science and Senior Fellow, Global Cities Institute at the University of Toronto, and co-editor of Cities Transformed: Demographic Change and Its Implications in the Developing World
"Democratizing Urban Development is a valuable contribution to the growing field of comparative urban politics.... This highly original comparison exposes how cities with very different political, economic, and social histories face similar obstacles to providing accessible affordable housing to their residents.... The strength of the book rests on Donaghy’s detailed and well-researched case studies of the four cities.... Democratizing Urban Development provides important insights into the collective action capacity of urban neighborhoods and organizations." — Journal of Urban Affairs
"(A) useful and extremely well researched book.... Democratizing Urban Development has many strengths. The careful research behind each chapter here is evident, and one of the book’s real assets is the way that activist voices and stories come through. Another strength is the way the author navigates disparate elements—rich case studies, comparisons between cases across countries, a commitment to analytic clarity, and the subtlety of stories—quite well."
— Perspectives on Politics
"Donaghy conducted impressive ﬁeldwork for this study....The book contributes important insights to the literature on social movements.... This is a fascinating book that illustrates how (community organizations) make a difference for increasing the city’s inclusivity through strategies that enhance the democratic character of a society."
— American Journal of Sociology
"Democratizing Urban Development offers a stimulating analysis of community organizations’ strategies and their relevance for preserving and promoting affordable housing and moving toward inclusive modes of governance.... (T)he book is a valuable resource needed to broaden the discussion on the role of housing community organizations for preserving and increasing affordable housing and at the same time democratizing urban planning across the world." — Journal of Planning Education and Research
Table of Contents
1. The Role of Community Organizations in Urban Development and Housing across the United States and Brazil
2. Strategies and Outcomes of Community Organizations
3. Resisting Removal in Rio de Janeiro
4. Neighborhood Transition and Housing for Low-Income Residents in Atlanta
5. City Center Development in São Paulo
6. Citywide Growth and Gentrification in Washington, D.C.
7. Toward Democratization of Urban Development?
About the Author(s)
In the Series
Urban Life, Landscape, and Policy edited by David Stradling, Larry Bennett, and Davarian Baldwin
The Urban Life, Landscape, and Policy Series, edited by David Stradling, Larry Bennett, and Davarian Baldwin, was founded by the late Zane L. Miller to publish books that examine past and contemporary cities, focusing on cultural and social issues. The editors seek proposals that analyze processes of urban change relevant to the future of cities and their metropolitan regions, and that examine urban and regional planning, environmental issues, and urban policy studies, thus contributing to ongoing debates.