Poverty IssuesVulnerability and Marginalization Issues

‘Love Don’t Live Here Anymore’

By December 29, 2016 No Comments

Economic Incentives for a More Equitable Model of Urban Redevelopment

In ‘Love Don’t Live Here Anymore’: Economic Incentives for a More Equitable Model of Urban Redevelopment, I explore the legal and practical avenues through which equitable urban redevelopment plans can be constructed and interest convergence achieved. In this process, I continue to explore what a redefinition of public purpose would mean for the implementation of urban renewal plans and judges’ review of conflicts arising in these contexts. In addition, I argue that intangible contributions made by pre-redevelopment community residents to the redeveloped communities must be preserved and computed in the type of just compensation awarded to homeowners, as well in the type of amenities provided for low-income renters in the post-renewal community. The computation of intangible contributions of poor community members to the redeveloped communities would adequately acknowledge the role that the pre-redevelopment residents’ social capital plays in increasing the value of the community. The role of social capital in increasing the value of communities is discussed in this article when discussing the proposed redefinition of public purpose. Furthermore, I borrow from international law’s recognition of indigenous populations’ right to return to their homeland, as well as the now established standards of environmental justice, to further support the basis for expanding the definition of public purpose to prevent the displacement of poor residents.

Part I of the article discusses conventional notions of public purpose and explores incentives that local governments have traditionally offered to attract private developers. In Part I, I also propose a redefinition of public purpose that takes into account the intangible contributions and value of the residents/indigenous people of pre-redeveloped communities. Part II investigates the possibilities of a more egalitarian model of urban redevelopment by applying the Interest Convergence Theory to urban renewal plans. Part III proposes such an egalitarian redevelopment model using redevelopment plans in New Orleans post-Hurricane Katrina as well as other cities as promising examples.


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