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  • The housing project, spatial experimentation and legal transformation in mid-twentieth century New York City

Finney, Tarsha, 2018, Journal Article, The housing project, spatial experimentation and legal transformation in mid-twentieth century New York City The Journal of Architecture, 23 (7-8). pp. 1181-1202. ISSN 1466-4410

Abstract or Description:

It is on the grounds of ‘eminent domain’ and in the context of the great urban transformations that the city of New York underwent through the twentieth century that so much criticism is launched at urban actors such as Robert Moses. Blight often constituted the ground of legitimacy for the use of eminent domain. Blight is often condemned for its definitional ambiguity by both legal and urban historians. Yet if it is considered at the intersection of urban spatial reasoning’s experimentation with the size of the neighbourhood in relation to the housing project, and at the point where it collides with legal argument and jurisprudential challenge around the notion of public benefit, it is possible to see an incredible productivity at work in the notion of blight. This paper argues that it is in fact the instrumentality of this definitional ambiguity that galvanises a broad and diverse dispute around housing. Rather than simply reflecting legal change, here the typological and diagrammatic spatial experimentation at work in the coming-into-form of the housing project can be seen iteratively to nudge transformation in legal and constitutional definition. This suggests a quite different kind of directed and specific material politics than that typically attributed to architecture’s disciplinary skill set.

Official URL: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13602...
Subjects: Architecture > K100 Architecture
School or Centre: School of Architecture
Identification Number or DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/13602365.2018.1513419
Additional Information: ** From Crossref via Jisc Publications Router.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Visual Arts and Performing Arts, Architecture
SWORD Depositor: Unnamed user with username publicationrouter
Date Deposited: 06 Nov 2018 15:18
Last Modified: 09 Nov 2018 14:32
URI: http://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/id/eprint/3664

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