Query: Failed Urban Renewal Sites

Stacy Sewell's picture

I am in search of any literature on failed federal urban renewal projects.  By “failed” I mean those projects for which land was cleared, but little or nothing was rebuilt and the renewal area remained vacant.  Although some of these projects were restarted later, they remained vacant for decades.  Thank you! Stacy Sewell  ssewell@stac.edu

Hi Stacy, My research on metropolitan Pittsburgh talks about a number of such sites in smaller deindustrialized communities. One good case study is Martins Ferry, Ohio, which had a robust urban renewal program and was one of the nation's smallest Model Cities project areas, but struggled to attract businesses to its cleared riverfront areas. I talk about Martins Ferry, Wheeling, West Virginia, Monessen, Pennsylvania, and a few other similar communities with vacant urban renewal areas in my book Beyond Rust: Metropolitan Pittsburgh and the Fate of Industrial America. Allen

Harvey K. Flad and Clyde Griffen, _Main Street to Mainframes: Landscape and Social Change in Poughkeepsie_ (SUNY series, An American Region: Studies in the Hudson Valley) 2010.

There are still emptied sites in Newburgh, New York but I'm not sure about the literature.