Breakthrough Communities: Sustainability and Justice in the Next American Metropolis
M. Paloma Pavel
MIT Press, 2009 - Architecture - 446 pages
Activists, analysts, and practitioners describe innovative strategies that promote healthy neighborhoods, fair housing, and accessible transportation throughout America's cities and suburbs.
The emerging metropolitan regional-equity movement promotes innovative policies to ensure that all communities in a metropolitan region share resources and opportunities equally. Too often, low-income communities and communities of color bear a disproportionate burden of pollution and lack access to basic infrastructure and job opportunities. The metropolitan regional-equity movement -- sometimes referred to as a new civil rights movement -- works for solutions to these problems that take into account entire metropolitan regions: the inner-city core, the suburbs, and exurban areas. This book describes current efforts to create sustainable communities with attention to the "triple bottom line" -- economy, environment, and equity -- and argues that these three interests are mutually reinforcing.
After placing the movement in its historical, racial, and class context, Breakthrough Communities offers case studies in which activists' accounts alternate with policy analyses. These describe efforts in Detroit, New York City, San Francisco, Atlanta, Camden, Chicago, Los Angeles, and other metropolitan areas to address such problems as vacant property, brownfields, affordable housing, accessible transportation, community food security, and the aftermath of Katrina and September 11. The volume concludes by considering future directions for the movement, including global linkages devoted to such issues as climate change.