Model City Blues tells the story of how regular people, facing a changing city landscape, fought for their own model of the \u201cideal city\u201d by creating grassroots plans for urban renewal. Filled with vivid descriptions of significant moments in a protracted struggle, it offers a street-level account of organized resistance to institutional plans to transform New Haven, Connecticut in the 1960s. Anchored in the physical spaces and political struggles of the city, it brings back to center stage the individuals and groups who demanded that their voices be heard. By reexamining the converging class- and race-based movements of 1960s New Haven, Mandi Jackson helps to explain the city's present-day economic and political struggles. More broadly, by closely analyzing particular sites of resistance in New Haven, Model City Blues employs multiple academic disciplines to redefine and reimagine the roles of everyday city spaces in building social movements and creating urban landscapes.
Mandi Isaacs Jackson is a Visiting Assistant Professor in African-American Studies at Wesleyan University where she teaches courses in urban studies.
Acknowledgements List of Illustrations List of Abbreviations Introduction The Interstate and the Demonstration City: Master Planning and Maximum Feasible Participation Contested Spaces in a Model City Neighborhoods and Movement Spaces on the Ring Road Map Oak Street Dixwell The Hill State Street Downtown Chapter 1--'The Ghosts of Oak Street's Paved Ravines:' The Oak Street Project, the Construction of Consensus, and the Birth of the Slumless City The Planning Tableau and the Experts' Dilemma Creating Consensus and Illustrating Progress The Progress Pavilion: "Watch the Picture Change!" "Very Minimum" Dissent Chapter 2-On Dixwell Avenue: Civil Rights and the Street The Mayor's Proposal Two Dixwells, One Corner A New Kind of Project Taking the Street Understanding the Avenue Remaking "New Haven's Harlem" Chapter 3: The Hill Neighborhood Union and Freedom Summer North: Citizen Participation and Movement Spaces in a 'Project Area' The Hill The Hill Neighborhood Union The Hill Rent Strikes The Freedom School The Children's Park Hill Cooperative Housing The National Commission on Urban Problems: "Too Many People Are a Blighting Influence" Chapter 4-- Maximum Feasible Urban Management: The "Automatic" City, and the Hill Parents Association Hill Reconnaissance A Particular Kind of "Model" The Hill Parents Association Bracing for Summer Chapter 5-Renewal, Riot, and Resistance: Reclaiming 'Model Cities' The Riot A "War Zone" on Congress Avenue The Aftermath Whose "Model Cities"? Chapter 6-The City and the Six-Lane Highway: Bread & Roses and Parking Garages Bread & Roses Unmasking the Ring Road Route 34: "Like Blowing Into a Hurricane" The Language of Agitation Public Re-Hearings People Against the Garage "You Can't Argue With Concrete" Chapter 7-Downtown Lives and Palaces: From a 'Space of Freedom to a 'Space of Exclusion' The Strand Hotel The Park Plaza Defining Home "Clear a Space:" Fighting for a Different Downtown "Pulling Power, Buying Power, Growing Power" Between the Strand and the Plaza Conclusion: "The After" Works Cited Index