Looking at the Demise of Pruitt-Igoe, Questions about Public Housing Remain

One of the featured events at the SACRPH conference in Baltimore was a screening of the new documentary “The Pruitt-Igoe Myth,” detailing the rise and fall of the notorious public housing project in St. Louis that was demolished only 17 years after its highly-touted construction in 1955. The American Historical Association has recently recognized the … Read more Looking at the Demise of Pruitt-Igoe, Questions about Public Housing Remain

In Baltimore, Prospects for Alleviating Poverty?

The Society for American City and Regional Planning History’s biannual meeting in Baltimore November 17-20 addressed a number of important aspects of urban poverty, including a tour and symposium focused on Baltimore itself.  It would take some concentrated effort to adequately summarize the array of material presented, but a few observations are in order.  The … Read more In Baltimore, Prospects for Alleviating Poverty?

Still Corrupt and Still Contented?

My essay appearing in the Inquirer today had the narrow objective of placing Lincoln Steffens’ famous phrase, “Corrupt and Contented,” as it related to Philadelphia in the early 20th century. Clearly the phrase still resonates when applied to the city, but it has a broader resonance both for the early 20th century and our own … Read more Still Corrupt and Still Contented?

Keystone XL Pipeline Challenge to Obama & the Planet

As director of Jimmy Carter’s Council on Environmental Quality, Yale ‘64’s Gus Speth was one of the first and most prominent government officials to call attention to the potentially disastrous effects of global warming. Nearly a quarter century later, as he held the position of dean of Yale’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, he … Read more Keystone XL Pipeline Challenge to Obama & the Planet