Defending Community

The Struggle for Alternative Redevelopment in Cedar-Riverside

Randy Stoecker
Book Cover

PB: $35.95
EAN: 978-1-56639-128-3
Publication: Jan 94

HC: $90.50
EAN: 978-1-56639-127-6
Publication: Jan 94

Ebook: $35.95
EAN: 978-1-4399-0420-6
Publication: Jan 94

328 pages
6 x 9
11 figures 13 halftones

A counter-culture urban community takes control of its redevelopment


Randy Stoecker's intimate biography of Cedar-Riverside, nationally known for a period as "the Haight-Ashbury of the Mid-West," contains important lessons about the conflicts between the needs of capitalism and the needs of community. While attending graduate school at the University of Minnesota, the author moved to Cedar-Riverside, a Minneapolis neighborhood known for its determination to enact values of peace, justice, wholeness, participation, and community in its truest sense. There he experienced first-hand the clashes between a radical community and state-backed urban developers.

His narrative tells the story of a community that overcame the odds against its own survival. Slated for total demolition, the neighborhood was saved by a powerful grass-roots movement. Citizens stopped a state-capital coalition from entombing the community in concrete and went on to create one of the largest community controlled urban redevelopment projects in the country After more than twenty years of struggle, Cedar-Riverside continues to experience citizen-controlled urban redevelopment on its own terms, setting an example for other communities, urban planners, and policymakers.


"Stoecker does a good job of conveying the importance of politics and government in determining the fate of Cedar-Riverside."Journal of American History

Table of Contents

Map of Cedar-Riverside
1. Capital, Community, and Cedar-Riverside: An Overview
2. Capital Invades Cedar-Riverside
3. A New Community Forms Against the New Town
4. Building on Community: Organizing the Resistance
5. The Growth Coalition Falters
6. Building the Foundation for Community-Based Development
7. The Struggle Within
8. The Role of Community in Urban Insurgency
9. The Limits and the Potential of Community Control of Urban Redevelopment
10. The Legacy of Cedar-Riverside
Appendix: Interviewees and Interviews
Bibliography of Newspapers and Newsletters

About the Author(s)

Randy Stoecker is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Toledo.

In the Series

  • Conflicts in Urban and Regional Development edited by John R. Logan and Todd Swanstrom

    Conflicts in Urban and Regional Development, edited by John R. Logan and Todd Swanstrom, includes books on urban policy and issues of city and regional planning, accounts of the political economy of individual cities, and books that compare policies across cities and countries.