Politics, Planning, and the Public Interest

With Martin Meyerson, Glencoe, IL: The Free Press, 1955.

“This book suggests a number of generalizations about public housing in this country. The moral of the story it tells is that planning of public housing is a meaningless intellectual exercise unless political reactions to the plans are effectively anticipated. The book points out that opposition to public housing can be expected from the very slum areas and slum dwellers that it seeks to benefit. Slum communities have vested commercial, political and religious interests that are antagonistic to public housing because they are weakened by the dislocations it brings. And deep neighborhood attachments exist in even the most squalid areas, often giving rise to vigorous resistance to change. Among the interesting incidental information the book offers are the facts that small public housing projects are more expensive per unit to build and manage than are large ones, and more likely to decay into slums; and that resentments against the management of public housing projects have developed that are more intense than the customary one between landlords and tenants of privately owned premises.”  Quintin Johnstone

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