H03 - 
To Save the City? Urban Renewal in New York and Boston
  In this two-day class we will examine the impact of urban renewal on New York City and Boston in the middle of the 20th century. In doing so, we will ask the question: Why did cities choose to massively reconfigure large sections, often dislocating citizens and erasing neighborhoods? The first class will look at the history of urban renewal, focusing on the career of "master builder" Robert Moses, who transformed the city with bridges, parks, roads, and housing. We will also look at the writings of Jane Jacobs, who played a major role in opposing urban renewal. The second class will look at how urban renewal changed the city of Boston, as we study the demolition of the West End and Scollay Square. The second day will include a walking tour of the old West End. By examining urban renewal in depth, this workshop will touch on many of the broader themes of 20th century U.S. history, from the Progressive Era to the New Deal and Great Depression to the economic and social life of 1950s America down to the era of protests and advocacy in the 1960s. **If social distancing is still in effect, this will be a limited enrollment seminar. If the coronavirus makes travel to Cambridge/Boston is unsafe, we will conduct this class online.
5/5/2021, 5/19/2021