New Urbanism and Neighborhood Revitalization: A Case Study Analysis of Urban Design, Economic Development and Social Equity in HOPE VI Neighborhood Revitalization Projects
Vitulli, Joshua R.
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HOPE VI neighborhood revitalization grants focus limited government resources in distressed communities to facilitate neighborhood change and transform urban neighborhoods into vibrant communities. HUD collaborated with the Congress for New Urbanism to develop principles for urban design to guide neighborhood revitalization. Inherent to this partnership is the assumption that urban design facilitates social economic development. Multiple cross-site analyses and case study research evaluate the ability of new urbanism principles to initiate meaningful neighborhood revitalization. Critics of new urbanism inevitably find fault in outcomes while new urbanists invariably document evidence of success. This research attempts to reconcile divergent ideologies to evaluate HOPE VI neighborhood revitalization projects by the design standards prescribed by new urbanism: if new urbanism principles are successfully implemented in HOPE VI neighborhood revitalization projects, new urbanism is responsible for the outcomes. This research expands on existing theory to measure the relationship between new urbanism design and neighborhood revitalization. To minimize claims against validity, the study begins with successful HOPE VI neighborhood revitalization projects in Seattle, Washington--New Holly and Rainier Vista. The redevelopment projects, both recipients of HOPE VI grants, are nationally recognized as exemplars of new urbanism. Urban design analysis considers each component of new urbanism design guidelines and verifies the presence, or absence, and effectiveness these principles. After analysis confirms HOPE VI redevelopment faithfully implements new urbanist principles, the research shifts to social and economic metrics that approximate neighborhood change and neighborhood revitalization. Neighborhood change is measured by qualitative indicators that influence neighborhood perception and stimulate private investment. Neighborhood revitalization is defined by the ability of a neighborhood to attract capital investment and ensure sustained development. The analysis ends with a discussion of social justice related to HOPE VI redevelopment projects. The research concludes the New Holly and Rainier Vista redevelopment projects ascribe to new urbanism design principles. Social and economic variables identify trends that indicate neighborhood change at New Holly and Rainier Vista, but neighborhood change has yet to attract requisite capital to catalyze neighborhood revitalization. The findings are constrained by time and external factors, discussed in the conclusion, and suggest directions for future research.
- Urban planning