Joel Rast - "The Origins of the Dual City"

Tuesday, February 11, 2020 - 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Event Presenter/Author: 
Joel Rast

"...Rast opens a new vista on how the recent evolution of American cities connects to fundamental perceptions of social inequality, government–private sector interaction, and urban form."—Larry Bennett, author of The Third City: Chicago and American Urbanism

Joel Rast discusses The Origins of the Dual City: Housing, Race, & Redevelopment in Twentieth-Century Chicago. A Q&A and signing will follow the discussion.

Presented in partnership with the Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture (CSRPC)

At the Co-op

RSVP HERE (Please note that your RSVP is requested but not required.)

About the book: Chicago is celebrated for its rich diversity, but, even more than most US cities, it is also plagued by segregation and extreme inequality. More than ever, Chicago is a “dual city,” a condition taken for granted by many residents. In this book, Joel Rast reveals that today’s tacit acceptance of rising urban inequality is a marked departure from the past. For much of the twentieth century, a key goal for civic leaders was the total elimination of slums and blight. Yet over time, as anti-slum efforts faltered, leaders shifted the focus of their initiatives away from low-income areas and toward the upgrading of neighborhoods with greater economic promise. As misguided as postwar public housing and urban renewal programs were, they were born of a long-standing reformist impulse aimed at improving living conditions for people of all classes and colors across the city—something that can’t be said to be a true priority for many policymakers today. The Origins of the Dual City illuminates how we normalized and became resigned to living amid stark racial and economic divides.

About the author: Joel Rast is associate professor and director of urban studies at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee.

Event Location: 
Seminary Co-op
5751 S. Woodlawn Ave.
Chicago, IL 60637