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  • 1. It may be argued that two other federal programs or policies have actually had more effect on cities than did Urban Renewal. These are (1) the construction of the Interstate Highway System, and (2) the structure of the IRS code and the tax benefits it provides for homeownership. However, as powerfully as these may affect cities, they are not specifically urban programs, nor were their urban effects foremost in the minds of the legislators who enacted them. In fact, it seems likely that their urban consequences, though now well recognized, were largely unanticipated.
  • 2. Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress, "The Central City Problem and Urban Renewal Policy," prepared for the Subcommittee on Housing and Urban Affairs, Committee Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, United States Senate, Washington, DC, 1973. Note: Subsequent figures on Urban Renewal expenditures or any other federal housing or urban development programs may be found in the Annual Yearbook, Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Washington, DC.
  • 3. This is a very rough estimate. From 1961, the midpoint year between the start of Urban Renewal and 1973, and the termination of the program in 2011, Bureau of Labor Statistics figures show that the cost of living increased by a multiple of 7.5. This would suggest that federal expenditures on Urban Renewal would be in the $90 to $100 billion range in current dollars.
  • 4. Guy Greer and Alvin W. Hansen, "Urban Redevelopment and Housing," National Planning Association, 1941.
  • 5. Martin Anderson, The Federal Bulldozer, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 1964, p. 64.
  • 6. The hypothesis, an old one in urban economics, is that the city incubates small, growing industries. When they reach a certain degree of maturity, they then move out to more peripheral areas, which provide lower costs, albeit in a somewhat

less rich and varied business environment. The city survives, even though it loses one mature industry after another, because it is constantly generating new industries. For an account of this idea, see Wilbur Thompson, A Preface to Urban Economics, Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, MD, 1965.

  • 7. The term gentrification comes from gentry and refers to the movement back into older neighborhoods of people of higher economic or social status than the present occupants.
  • 8. Charles Abrams, "Some Blessings of Urban Renewal," in Urban Renewal: The Record and the Controversy, James Q. Wilson, ed., MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 1966, p. 560.
  • 9. This partial listing is drawn from regulations published in the Federal Register, March 1, 1978, p. 8441. The Federal Register is a daily publication of the federal government and provides detailed regulations for the implementation of legislation passed by Congress. It runs to many thousands of pages per year.
  • 10. Enforcing such a distinction is not always easy. If the community intended to build a playground in any case but allocates part of its CDBG to that purpose, how can we ever say with certainty how the general purpose funds thus freed have been used? Can we say with certainty that the funds freed by the CD grant have not been used for a purpose that is not an approved CD activity? In fact, can we say with certainty that the knowledge that it was to receive a CDBG did not cause a municipality to tax its property owners at a somewhat lower rate than it would otherwise have done?
  • 11. See Federal Register, March 1, 1978, p. 8462.
  • 12. Table 658, Statistical Abstract of the United States, 2006, 126th edn.
  • 13. Terry S. Szold, "Mansionization and Its Discontents," Journal of the American Planning Association, vol. 71, no. 2, spring 2005, pp. 189-200.
  • 14. Lisa Selin Davis, "Aging in Place Suburban Style," Planning, July 2013, p. 24.
  • 15. Lifelong Communities Handbook: Creating Opportunities for Lifelong Living. Available online at
  • 16. Davis, "Aging in Place Suburban Style," op.cit.
  • 17. The Case-Shiller index is constructed from the prices of houses that have sold more than once during the time period for which the index is done, thus eliminating the effect of new construction and isolating, in effect, the change in market value of the existing housing stock. If the price of newly constructed housing were figured in, the rate of the price increase would be even greater.
  • 18. The acronym is from the National Association of Securities Dealers. The index is heavily weighted to computer and other high-technology stocks.
  • 19. A number of other firms such as Bear Stearns had been rescued by the Federal

Reserve or been acquired by stronger institutions, but for reasons about which there is some argument the Fed did not rescue Lehman brothers.

20. A derivative is a financial instrument whose value depends upon the value of other financial instruments. A prominent example was the Credit Default Swap (CDS). This is a contract which pays the buyer if there is a default on another instrument such as a bond. The Insurance giant AIG wrote many such contracts for which it did not have sufficient backing. It was dragged under as defaults rose and buyers of their guarantees demanded payment. AIG received over $100 billion in federal bailout money. It is now operating profitably and has repaid the US Treasury with interest.


Blinder, Alan S., After the Music Stopped, Penguin Press, New York, 2013. (An account of the financial crisis).

Dalton, Linda C., Hoch, Charles J., and So, Franck S., The Practice of Local Government Planning, 3rd ed., International City/County Management Association, Washington, DC, 2000, chap. 11.

Ford, Larry R., America's New Downtowns, Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, 2003.

Lucy, William H, Foreclosing the Dream, American Planning Association, Chicago, 2010.

Paumier, Cy, Creating a Vibrant City Center, Urban Land Institute, Washington, DC, 2004.

Wilson, James Q., ed., Urban Renewal: The Record and the Controversy, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 1966.

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