Dispersal as anti-poverty policy

Edward G. Goetz, Karen Chapple

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

8 Scopus citations


Recent diagnoses of urban problems in both Europe and the United States have emphasized the spatial dimensions of inequality. That uneven urban development is manifest in the geography of urban areas has been the principle underlying a string of urban policies and planning initiatives in the United States since the 1940s. The expansion of a local development authority embodied in the public housing and urban renewal programs of the depression and postwar eras was an attempt to buttress the sagging fortunes of central city areas in the face of capital shifts to suburban areas. As the contrasting trajectories of central and suburban areas sharpened during the 1960s and 1970s, spatially oriented policies multiplied. The idea of equal opportunity motivated urban policy through this period with passage of the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968. The civil disturbances of the 1960s, followed by the McCone and Kerner Commission reports, made it clear that residents of inner-city ghettos lacked economic opportunity, and suggested that greater opportunity lay in the suburbs-if only the obstacles that led to residential segregation could be overcome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCritical Urban Studies
Subtitle of host publicationNew Directions
PublisherState University of New York Press
Number of pages16
ISBN (Print)9781438433059
StatePublished - Dec 1 2010


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