Saving America's Cities: The Past, Present, and Future of Urban Revitalization

Location: Harvard Graduate School of Design

Can past efforts to revitalize America’s cities inform contemporary strategies to address the problems of economic inequality, unaffordable housing, segregated neighborhoods, and deteriorating infrastructure?

That question, in part, informs Saving America’s Cities: Ed Logue and the Struggle to Renew Urban America in the Suburban Age, a new book by Lizabeth Cohen, a Professor in the History Department at Harvard and former Dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Logue, a New Deal liberal who made skillful use of once-plentiful federal funding for urban revitalization, was widely hailed – and sometimes sharply criticized – for his ambitious approaches to planning and architecture to revitalize New Haven, Boston, and a host of cities in New York State.

Cohen will discuss this history and will be joined in conversation by former HUD Secretary and OMB Director Shaun Donovan and GSD Dean Sarah Whiting. Together they will reflect on what Logue’s career suggests about the ways in which policy, planning, and design can address current urban challenges, including how these efforts might succeed without the substantial federal funding of Logue’s day.

Boston photos courtesy of the Boston City Archives, Pei Cobb Freed & Partners, and Wikimedia Commons.