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Constructing Community

Urban Governance, Development, and Inequality in Boston

Jeremy R. Levine

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Geisteswissenschaften, Kunst, Musik / Pädagogik

Beschreibung

A look at the benefits and consequences of the rise of community-based organizations in urban development

Who makes decisions that shape the housing, policies, and social programs in urban neighborhoods? Who, in other words, governs? Constructing Community offers a rich ethnographic portrait of the individuals who implement community development projects in the Fairmount Corridor, one of Boston’s poorest areas. Jeremy Levine uncovers a network of nonprofits and philanthropic foundations making governance decisions alongside public officials—a public-private structure that has implications for democratic representation and neighborhood inequality.

Levine spent four years following key players in Boston’s community development field. While state senators and city councilors are often the public face of new projects, and residents seem empowered through opportunities to participate in public meetings, Levine found a shadow government of nonprofit leaders and philanthropic funders, nonelected neighborhood representatives with their own particular objectives, working behind the scenes. Tying this system together were political performances of “community”—government and nonprofit leaders, all claiming to value the community. Levine provocatively argues that there is no such thing as a singular community voice, meaning any claim of community representation is, by definition, illusory. He shows how community development is as much about constructing the idea of community as it is about the construction of physical buildings in poor neighborhoods.

Constructing Community demonstrates how the nonprofit sector has become integral to urban policymaking, and the tensions and trade-offs that emerge when private nonprofits take on the work of public service provision.

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Schlagwörter

Sociology, Outreach, Ethnography, Philanthropy, Nonprofit organization, Gentrification, Neighborhood association, Fairmount Line, Urban planning, Urban renewal, Community development corporation, Public participation, Blockbusting, Private foundation (United States), War on Poverty, Economic development, Deval Patrick, Tax credit, Politician, State-owned enterprise, Make A Difference, Governance, Behalf, Development plan, Rapid Rail, Advocacy, Executive director, Thomas Menino, Funding, Smart growth, Public–private partnership, Tax Reform Act of 1969, Blue Hill Avenue (MBTA station), Uphams Corner, Participant, Housing development, Writing, Decision-making, Accountability, Low-Income Housing Tax Credit, Boston Redevelopment Authority, Princeton University Press, Subsidy, The Boston Foundation, Ford Foundation, Public housing, Urban planner, Community development planning, Government, Local government, Neighborhood planning, Political science, Joint venture, Policy, Housing authority, Legislator, Bureaucrat, Community development, Expense, Welfare, Downtown Boston, Advisory board, Public policy, Affordable housing, Politics, Budget, Community organizing, Mattapan, Grassroots, State senator, Black Power movement, Community organization, Slum, Employment, Board of directors, Disadvantage, City manager, Copyright, Subsidized housing, Government agency, Professionalization, Workforce, Poverty, Activism, Requirement, Residence, Urban politics, Private sector, Mattapan (MBTA station), Boston, Small business, Our Community, Legislation, Case study, Social movement, Community foundation, Service provider, Public transport, Conference call, Redevelopment