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From Urban Village to East Village : The Battle for New York's Lower East Side - Janet L. Abu-Lughod

From Urban Village to East Village

The Battle for New York's Lower East Side


Published: 9th January 1995
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This landmark study explores a new reality in today's inner cities - one that diverges radically from the dominant models of either the urban village, with its shared culture, or the disorganized zone of urban anomie.

Growing numbers of inner city neighbourhoods now contain populations drawn from a multiplicity of ethnicities, subcultures, and classes. These groups may share physical space, but they pursue disparate ways of life and hold very different views of their neighbourhood's future. Such areas have become contested turf - arenas of heated political struggle.

Nowhere has this struggle been so complexly joined than in the East Village on New York's Lower East Side. For over two decades, established and new immigrants, community activists, hippies, squatters, yuppies, developers, drug dealers, artists, the homeless, and the police have been battling for control of the district and its central meeting ground, Tompkins Square Park.

Based on five years of research and participant observation, this book gives a vivid account of the contestants and their struggles in the battle for the Lower East Side. It is a battle which is likely to be replicated, perhaps less violently, in many other parts of urban America.

"[a] fascinating book ... From Urban Village to East Villageis a formidable achievement." Progress in Human Geography ./ "Asone who has done community studies, my first reaction to JanetAbu-Lughod's ambitious volume about New York's Lower East Side wasfrankly one of jealousy. I envy her the cadre of able studentethnographers that she was able to field. I envy the colleaguesfrom various disciplines-political scientist Diana Gordon, photographer Marlis Momber, architectural historian Richard Plunz, and geographer Neil Simth-who she draws on to fill in the gaps inthe student accounts. I envy her this research site-no doubt amongthe most politically contested and sociologically complex twosquare miles of real estate in America. Mostly, I suppose I envyher nerve. Not surprisingly, Abu-lughod was new to New York whenshe began this project. It is hard to imagine anyone more immersedin the local political culture taking on an area so historicallydense. What is surprising is how generally successful the resultingvolume is."
Philip Kasinitz, AJS Vol 101 No 5

"From Urban Village to East Village: The Battle for NewYork's Lower East Side works towards bridging this troublinggap in the literature by examining stuggles over urban space onManhattan's Lower East Side. The result of a collaborative researchproject directed by Janet Abu-Lughod, the volume situates recentand highly publicized conflicts over housing and public space onthe Lower East Side within an interdisciplinary analysis of theneighborhood's changing relationship to the city's politicaleconomy... The volume's refreshingly political analysis of contestsover urban space, too complex to treat fully here, underscores boththe rewards of collaborative research and the importance ofgrounding our analyses of urban restructuring in particular palcesin the multiple arenas of political practice where space isinvested with cultural meaning and economic value."
Steven Gregory, Urban

List of Plates
List of Illustrations
List of Tables
A Note about the Contributors
Introductionp. 1
Welcome to the Neighborhoodp. 17
The Past Is Still Therep. 41
The Changing Economy of the Lower East Sidep. 43
The Tenement as a Built Formp. 63
A History of Tompkins Square Parkp. 81
Deja Vu: Replanning the Lower East Side in the 1930sp. 99
The Process Of Gentrificationp. 121
Neighborhood 'Burn-out': Puerto Ricans at the End of the Queuep. 125
Appendix: The Other Side of the Coin: Culture in Loisaidap. 141
From Disinvestment to Reinvestment: Mapping the Urban 'Frontier' in the Lower East Sidep. 149
The Process of Gentrification in Alphabet Cityp. 169
Public Action: New York City Policy and the Gentrification of the Lower East Sidep. 189
Contesting Community: The Issues And The Protagonistsp. 213
A Resident's View of Conflict on Tompkins Square Parkp. 217
The Battle for Tompkins Square Parkp. 233
The Residents in Tompkins Square Parkp. 267
The Squatters: A Chorus of Voices ... But Is Anyone Listening?p. 285
Defending the Cross-Subsidy Plan: The Tortoise Wins Againp. 313
Conclusions And Implicationsp. 335
Bibliographyp. 355
Indexp. 375
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9781557865250
ISBN-10: 1557865256
Series: Modern Educational Thought
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 404
Published: 9th January 1995
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.01 x 15.34  x 2.62
Weight (kg): 0.62
Edition Number: 1