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MTSUBlueraider86

Is it time to eliminate the projects? The answer is yes!

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The construction a few years ago of the brightly colored workforce development housing off of Charlotte was a start in the right direction. There was a similar development off of I-40 west looking north. (One can see them off of the interstate and I cannot remember the name of the street or the name of the development.) These are a prime example of what can be done for the working poor. They must work and be a part of the success of their communities, or they are out.

Although I am known for my progressive viewpoint, I am vehemently against the projects and I always have been. The projects are nothing more than prisons, and persons living in such developments sentenced themselves to a life of misery and despair.

I love to go to the shops along 12 south, and when I pass by the what seems to be miles of projects, I can envision what could take their place: a neighborhood of nice quaint urban homes surrounded by shops, vendors, walkable human scaled architecture, and public space.

Now, the question remains on what to do with the residents, especially the children living in those projects. In this current economy, the question is even harder to answer; but every time I drive by, the same group of men are sitting on milk crates under the same tree, and they are drinking their beer or liquor wrapped in brown paper bags.

Now, this is not just a poor black problem, but a poor white problem as well. The difference is in the fact poor whites are generally hidden out in rural areas whereas the poor black problem is directly present in the city witnessed by millions all in public view. The projects have been havens for crime for decades, and there has been little or no improvement.

The projects have created a situation that somewhat purposely keeps poor black Americans in the same situation. The project lifestyle continually reinforces the idea that they cannot be any better, and therefore tearing down the projects become a political firestorm, especially for black politicians who in fact are more vehement about tearing them down than white politicians. David Bing former NBA star now mayor of Detroit is facing this very issue. As a black mayor in a predominantly black American city, he is ready to rid the city of all projects. His black constituency question his motives and they wonder how "white" he became when he became a rich ball player.

Another example is successful black entrepreneur Russell Simmons the music mogul who own personal war on poverty has been directed at the state of the projects in this country and how they were designed to hold people back.

I blame the projects on liberals like myself who in the 1960's thought they were helping the black underclass by providing housing while at the same time creating a prison for future generations. I blame conservative politics now for continuing the culture, and not wanting to deal with the issue. Today's liberal like myself realized we made a huge mistake. We sent generations to this self fulfilling prophecy of a lifetime of imprisonment. Enabling poverty was not the answer, and it has cost this country trillions of dollars in economic revenue. It has destroyed our inner cities. The book 'Middlesex' by Jeffrey Euginides describes in detail the transformation of Detroit in the 1950's and 1960's as a city full of projects, crime, and poverty for blacks when the projects were built in the post WW2 era when the auto industry prevailed, and blacks were not welcome in most businesses and thus unemployed..

Its time for the projects to go.

This is the right time for this discussion for our great city. Just envision what could be done with all of that prime property, and how the residents could be liberated.

Discuss

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The construction a few years ago of the brightly colored workforce development housing off of Charlotte was a start in the right direction. There was a similar development off of I-40 west looking north. (One can see them off of the interstate and I cannot remember the name of the street or the name of the development.) These are a prime example of what can be done for the working poor. They must work and be a part of the success of their communities, or they are out.

Although I am known for my progressive viewpoint, I am vehemently against the projects and I always have been. The projects are nothing more than prisons, and persons living in such developments sentenced themselves to a life of misery and despair.

I love to go to the shops along 12 south, and when I pass by the what seems to be miles of projects, I can envision what could take their place: a neighborhood of nice quaint urban homes surrounded by shops, vendors, walkable human scaled architecture, and public space.

Now, the question remains on what to do with the residents, especially the children living in those projects. In this current economy, the question is even harder to answer; but every time I drive by, the same group of men are sitting on milk crates under the same tree, and they are drinking their beer or liquor wrapped in brown paper bags.

Now, this is not just a poor black problem, but a poor white problem as well. The difference is in the fact poor whites are generally hidden out in rural areas whereas the poor black problem is directly present in the city witnessed by millions all in public view. The projects have been havens for crime for decades, and there has been little or no improvement.

The projects have created a situation that somewhat purposely keeps poor black Americans in the same situation. The project lifestyle continually reinforces the idea that they cannot be any better, and therefore tearing down the projects become a political firestorm, especially for black politicians who in fact are more vehement about tearing them down than white politicians. David Bing former NBA star now mayor of Detroit is facing this very issue. As a black mayor in a predominantly black American city, he is ready to rid the city of all projects. His black constituency question his motives and they wonder how "white" he became when he became a rich ball player.

Another example is successful black entrepreneur Russell Simmons the music mogul who own personal war on poverty has been directed at the state of the projects in this country and how they were designed to hold people back.

I blame the projects on liberals like myself who in the 1960's thought they were helping the black underclass by providing housing while at the same time creating a prison for future generations. I blame conservative politics now for continuing the culture, and not wanting to deal with the issue. Today's liberal like myself realized we made a huge mistake. We sent generations to this self fulfilling prophecy of a lifetime of imprisonment. Enabling poverty was not the answer, and it has cost this country trillions of dollars in economic revenue. It has destroyed our inner cities. The book 'Middlesex' by Jeffrey Euginides describes in detail the transformation of Detroit in the 1950's and 1960's as a city full of projects, crime, and poverty for blacks when the projects were built in the post WW2 era when the auto industry prevailed, and blacks were not welcome in most businesses and thus unemployed..

Its time for the projects to go.

This is the right time for this discussion for our great city. Just envision what could be done with all of that prime property, and how the residents could be liberated.

Discuss

I completely agree, but where do they go? And at what cost to not only them, but the tax payers of the city. I'd imagine even a city like Nashville who's not really hurting for money would struggle to remove all it's projects and relocate their residents.

This would probably add to our unemployment level too, which is something politicians wouldn't be for. Even if it's in the people's best interests.

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It is a problem that has been around for along time and it will take a long time to solve. The Hope grants went a long way to help with some of the new housing, but I think that money is no longer available as it was federal in nature. There has to be alternatives, but I am cluelss as to the best option but do agree that they have to go.

BTW, welcome wbrewer3 to Urban planet and thans for your fist post.

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The Hope grants went a long way to help with some of the new housing, but I think that money is no longer available as it was federal in nature.

If memory serves, Nashville was one of the most successful (maybe the most successful) city in the country at making use of the Hope grants..

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I blame the projects on liberals like myself who in the 1960's thought they were helping the black underclass by providing housing while at the same time creating a prison for future generations. I blame conservative politics now for continuing the culture, and not wanting to deal with the issue.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions. Conservatives opposed such measures decades ago because they knew what the end result would be (go back even further to the 1930s when Black Republican Chicago Congressman Oscar DePriest opposed the New Deal because he knew what an enshrined welfare state would do for his constituency). However, I don't see how "blaming" an ideology that hasn't been represented in such constituencies for well over a half-century or more can pass the smell test. Anyway, that's all part of a larger discussion. I do agree that warehousing of human beings in "projects" is a bad idea. I'd rather look to the private sector for solutions, encourage competition to provide affordable housing.

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Davy, glad to see you back on the board. I emailed you last year when I became moderator. I wanted to invite you back. Hopefully you can make a forum meet again sometime. I hope all is well.

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^I'm sorry, I must not have received your email at the time. I tended to stay in touch with local urban matters via Nashville Charrette and was disappointed when Cliff pulled the plug on it (btw, where is he these days ?). Indeed, hopefully I'll be able to make one of the forum meets before long (alas, not this Saturday, unfortunately). My health still remains a bit of a touchy area, though I would like to travel again (just requires a bit of work on my part).

BTW, I should read that book you suggested above. My former fiancee and I were fans of Mr. Eugenides book, "The Virgin Suicides." That was set in the tony Detroit suburbs of the Grosse Pointes in the '70s.

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Hey Davy,

Cliff shows up on Saturdays most of the time. Hope you can make it sometime.

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