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Can the rise of New Urbanism be traced to the destruction of high-density housing projects like Pruitt-Igoe in St. Louis? Was there a point in history when we collectively re-thought the definition of public housing?

Here in Seattle, these public housing projects are being torn down and replaced with new mixed income communities. About half the low-income residents get to move back onsite after the redevelopment, the remaining are dispersed throughout the city. Is this an international trend? We're not replacing high-rises in Seattle, just detached dwellings and townhomes. But it seems like maybe the U.S. congressional funds for tearing down these communities was based on the idea of tearing down housing highrises.

I'm a reporter doing a story on the evolution of public housing in Seattle, Washington, USA. But I'm trying to figure out how it fits in with what's going on elsewhere in the US and the world.

Also, does anyone know where I can find an Audio file/recording of the demolition of Pruitt Igoe? The Phillip Glass movie has visual only, no audio. I'm a radio journalist, so I've got to get the audio.
 

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Journeyman
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Seattle is probably unusual in that our replacements are generally denser than what they replace. Instead of tearing down highrises we're tearing down scattered lowrises, and creating neighborhoods that are far more urban than what they were. I don't have exact numbers, but the old "projects" used to average somewhere around 6 units per acre, and the new ones average around 10. That includes both in-city replacements like New Holly and Rainier Vista and others in the region, like Salishan, Greenbridge, and Westpark.

In fact, I don't believe half the units are going elsewhere, though some obviously are. With the added units per acre, the market rate housing is accommodated despite keeping most of low-income housing.

Also unusual is our housing levy, and our reliance on a series of non-profits. Other cities have probably relied a lot more on Hope IV money, while we have our $16,000,000 per year in local levy funds as well. That's why we've had so much more renewal (good word in this case) than some other cities.
 

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Love me, love my dog...
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In 1996, the Atlanta Housing Authority created the financial and legal model for mixed-income, mixed-finance transactions that include public-assisted housing as a component. This model is used by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's HOPE VI revitalization program. In Atlanta, it has resulted in six vibrant mixed-income communities, with three more in the predevelopment phase.

The first of these, Centennial Place, has been recognized by HUD and the Urban Land Institute as an exemplary community, featuring a math, science and technology-focused elementary school, a YMCA, a branch bank, a child-care facility and retail shops. In the near future, the Centennial Place community will also include homeownership units.

In total, 16 public housing complexes around the city have undergone such a metamorphosis. But AHA’s mission is not complete. All of AHA's conventional, multifamily complexes have been razed or are slated for demolition in the next several years. The agency also plans to tear down three senior-citizen high-rise apartments and will relocate residents who are elderly or disabled into properties better-suited to their needs.

AHA is the largest housing agency in Georgia and one of the largest in the nation, serving approximately 50,000 people.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlanta_Housing_Authority


Centennial Place (low-rise 3 story complex) replaced Techwood Homes, the nation's first public housing complex and Atlanta's most dangerous.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/paytonc/85706680/

Centennial Place Elementary School, APS math/science/technology magnet
A Centennial Place unit is visible, right center of photo

http://www.flickr.com/photos/karsh/122096573/

Centennial Place YMCA
 
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