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Digging into urban renewal in Fulton

10/26/2015 9:48 AM by

PHOTO BY Ellen Heberling

Ellen Heberling posted a piece at RVA Archaeology on the potential of archaeology work on Fulton to share more on the urban renewal period:

During the early 1970s, many industry jobs opened in Fulton, and it became home to many low-income African-Americans, as the Irish and other European immigrants moved out toward Montrose Heights, located near Fulton. Also beginning in the early 1970s, Fulton began an urban renewal process (Figure 1). Urban renewal was an urban planning movement that tore down many established urban neighborhoods, particularly displacing people of color.

The implementing of urban renewal began with the passing of the Housing Act of 1949, allowing the federal government to acquire land for public housing. Ostensibly the goal of this project was to make what were referred to as “slums” suitable environments for families. However, another unstated goal of this process is now acknowledged to be the spatial segregation of extreme poverty and black families into discrete areas of the city (this process has been documented by John Moeser and the Mapping Inequality project, among others). The Housing Act of 1954, coined the term “urban renewal” and furthered this need to renew the “slums” by bulldozing many neighborhoods, promising relocation for the residents but breaking that promise time and time again.

SEE ALSO: posts tagged “old Fulton”




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