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Urban Renewal

A Challenge Too Big For Big Plans

A Challenge Too Big For Big Plans

We chose Memphis to kick off the Strong America Tour for a reason: the city is both an object lesson in what has gone wrong in American cities, and what could go right. And Memphis’s example helps us see why in places that are going to experience a renaissance, it’s going to come from the grassroots.

How the Government Segregated America's Cities By Design

How the Government Segregated America's Cities By Design

Most Americans have never lived in a time when “the inner city” wasn’t a locus of poverty, physical blight and social disintegration. Yet many of us fail to grasp the extent to which public policy had its thumb on the scale from the start in creating those conditions.

A Divided Syracuse: The Future of an Urban Highway

A Divided Syracuse: The Future of an Urban Highway

New York state transportation authorities have the opportunity to correct a historic mistake in Syracuse, by removing an obsolete freeway that tore the city in half decades ago. Will they do the right thing?

Is a Top-Down Approach the Best Way to Revitalize Downtown?

Is a Top-Down Approach the Best Way to Revitalize Downtown?

Richmond, Virginia’s proposed Navy Hill redevelopment would reinvent 10 blocks of the city’s core out of whole cloth, aiming for greatness in one fell swoop. The top-down, master-plan approach to city building is seductive. But it is also fragile.

Seeing the Forest Without the Trees

Seeing the Forest Without the Trees

The scale and value of what we’ve sacrificed in order to build parking lots and highways is staggering. Only by understanding that loss can we figure out how to build stronger towns.

The Illusion of Revitalization

The Illusion of Revitalization

From the towering Xerox Square, to the grand Civic Center, to the glistening Riverside Convention Center, virtually every corner of downtown Rochester has been “revitalized”, so why does it still feel so dead?

The History of Urban Freeways: Who Counts?

The History of Urban Freeways: Who Counts?

The only problem this highway project seeks to solve is, "How do we move more vehicles through Shreveport?" The perspective of residents whose neighborhood would be destroyed by the highway seems to count for nothing.

#UsedToBe Hightlights

#UsedToBe Hightlights

This week, we asked you to help us mourn the effects of urban renewal by sharing photographs of urban renewal sites in your city. We received close to 100 submissions from across North America. Here are some favorites.