Race, Class, and the Response to Urban Decline

Gregory D. Squires
Book Cover

PB: $35.96
EAN: 978-0-87722-617-8
Publication: Feb 89

HC: $37.95
EAN: 978-0-87722-487-7
Publication: Sep 87

248 pages

6 tables 4 map(s) 2 figures


Despite local folklore, Chicago is not always a city that works. No longer the "Hog Butcher for the World," the Windy City has, in recent decades, pursued economic growth at all costs—to the detriment of many of its citizens. This book describes the social, economic, and political costs of the growth ideology and examines the populist response that promises an alternative Chicago.

Tracing the city’s uneven economic development since World War II, the authors demonstrate how unchecked growth in favor of private enterprise has resulted in severe poverty, unemployment, crime, reduced tax revenues and property values, a decline in municipal services, and racial, ethnic, and class divisiveness. And yet proponents of Daley-style machine politics and the notion of the city as a growth machine still assert that the future of the city depends exclusively on its ability to grow. The victory of Harold Washington is the most visible symbol of the movement toward an alternative Chicago. Naming different priorities and using more participatory tactics, this challenge to the politics of growth promotes development that is responsive to social need, not just market signals.


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