Urban Development: From Reconstruction to Gentrification
Teacher: Lauren Hudson
Lauren Hudson is currently a doctoral candidate in Earth and Environmental Sciences at the CUNY Graduate Center where she writes about anti-capitalist organizing among women in NYC. Her research interests concern how economic subjectivities are created between and among those who perform labor based on solidarity, how their narratives of their work cohere and diverge from dominant discourses.
Cities are inherently contradictory. For example, only about 3% of the land area in the U.S. can be qualified as ‘urban’, yet those areas host about 80% of our total population. Urban space is both a minority in its use and a majority in terms of how many people live within it. Another contradiction is how dependent urban space is on the rural; the cities that we see today are legacies of rural transformation.
This Olio will cover the historical flashpoints of urban ‘development’ in the U.S. from the rural outmigration from the South after the end of Reconstruction, to the urban displacement wrought by gentrification. Between these two periods, we see changes in our food production, homeownership, and the state’s role in economic development–all of which created outcomes that we are still struggling to deal with today. Let’s talk about it.