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Urban mixed use development

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Title:
Urban mixed use development the socially responsible allocation of space
Creator:
Howard, Sandra LaVerne
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
xii, 164 leaves : ; 28 cm

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Mixed-use developments ( lcsh )
Space (Architecture) ( lcsh )
Public spaces ( lcsh )
Stapleton (Denver, Colo.) ( lcsh )
Genre:
bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

Notes

Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 161-164).
General Note:
College of Architecture and Planning
Statement of Responsibility:
by Sandra LaVerne Howard.

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Source Institution:
|University of Colorado Denver
Holding Location:
|Auraria Library
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
318899084 ( OCLC )
ocn318899084
Classification:
LD1193.A735 2008d H68 ( lcc )

Full Text
URBAN MIXED USE DEVELOPMENT: THE SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE
ALLOCATION OF SPACE
by
Sandra LaVerne Howard
B.A., Metropolitan State College of Denver, 1997
M.A., University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, 2001
A thesis submitted to the
University of Colorado
In partial fulfillment
of the requirements for the degree of
Doctor of Philosophy
Design and Planning
2008


2008 by Sandra LaVerne Howard
All rights reserved.


This thesis for the Doctor of Philosophy
Degree by
Sandra L. Franklin-Howard
has been approved
by
///w
Date


Sandra L. Franklin-Howard (Ph.D., Design and Planning)
Urban Mixed Use Development: The Socially Responsible Allocation of Space
Thesis directed by Professor Joseph B. Juhasz
ABSTRACT
This dissertation seeks to define how mixed-use urban form in the US
currently addresses the meaning of social equity in the context of the urban built
environment. This inquiry is conducted through a case study of the Stapleton
development project in Denver, Colorado and uses the Stapleton Development Plan
(SDP) as a starting point. The Stapleton development project is the former site of
the Denver International Airport. The transformation of the 4700-acre site is
currently the largest residential and commercial mixed-use development in the US.
The SDP implies that the project will serve as a model for future urban mixed-use
development. Therefore, the dissertation focuses on how social and economic
inclusion occurs. Stapleton is located 15 minutes east of downtown Denver and sits
adjacent to five socially and economically diverse neighborhoods. The SDP lists
social equity as a guiding principle in the construction of this redevelopment project.
This dissertation examined sections of the SDP that describe social equity and
followed them through implementation.


In general, the social equity principle in the SDP describes a redevelopment
effort to provide social and economic inclusion. The dissertation focuses on how
Stapleton addresses opportunities for housing and access to goods and services for
minority and low-income population.
This abstract accurately represents the content of the candidates thesis. I
recommend its publication.
Sigm


DEDICATION
This dissertation is dedicated to my mother, Doris Jean Darling-Franklin. When I
get old, I shall where purple too.
Growing up I watched my mother and father do the normal things parents do.
My father got up and went to work as a civil engineer and my mom stayed home
and planned community meetings, choir rehearsals and took care of my
grandmother, Rose Darling. It was many years later before I realized the impact
my mom had on the community. In our community, north Minneapolis, my mom
and her lady friends, her term, lobbied the city council to get affordable housing
for low-income populations, a park for children to play and a health center. I
remember seeing my father roll his eyes and saying to me where on earth do
they get the energy. People who give of themselves so others can have
something are a tradition I am proud to come from.
Many people thanked my mother for her help. When my father, Henry
Franklin Jr., died, I had never seen so many people in one place. I was twelve.
The church was packed and people were standing in line to pay their respects. I
learned that day that my father, no matter how much he may have pretended not


to understand where my mother got her energy to help others, had been doing
the same in his way.
Today my mother has Alzheimes and remembers very little of her past
including my father. This saddens me, but my work reflects her life in many ways
and this gives me great joy. My mother loved to help and she never backed
down from a civic challenge where her community was concerned. May I follow
her path.
There have been many people in my life that have encouraged me to
pursue the same independence and similar tenacity as my mom. Linda
Marangia has mentored me for many years. She has always believed in me,
even when I had doubts. Thank you Linda for all the many wonderful
conversations and laughter and more to come. There is one person in my life
who has given me unconditional support and the freedom to be myself for two
decades, my best friend Pattie. Many times during the early stage of my
mothers diagnosis, I wondered if I could continue my graduate studies. Pattie
always reminded me how important it was to follow my passion. She reminded
me that my mother would want this and I believe that to be true. Therefore, I
also dedicate this body of work to all those who inspire me, stand by me, love
me and tell me the truth. I have been blessed with many wonderful friends. I
wish I could name you all.




ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
I thank my advisor, Joseph B. Juhasz for his intellectual guidance and support.
He challenged me to be true to myself and to address issues that are important
even if they are not always popular. This lesson was of great value to me during
my research and shall remain with me throughout my professional career. I also
thank my committee members for their valuable participation and insights.
I thank all of the people I interviewed for their personal stories,
information and their time for my dissertation research. These individuals
provided me with great insight. Many of the individuals invited me into their
homes and personal lives. I trust that I have represented the viewpoints of all
participants accurately and respectfully.
Finally, I would like to thank the great staff of the graduate school. The
support staffs on both campuses are to be commended for their patience and
timely responses. I would like to thank Ms. Kimberly Kelly, the Ph.D. support
administrator during the majority of my studies. If Ms Kelly did not have the
answer to a question on the spot, she got it quickly and always had an ear or a
shoulder available for all the graduate students. Thank you Kim for all you did for
us.


TABLE OF CONTENTS
LIST OF FIGURES.......................................................XI
LIST OF TABLES.......................................................XII
CHAPTER
1. INTRODUCTION................................................13
Representations of Space.................................14
Representational Space...................................15
Spatial Practice.........................................16
Rhetoric or Reality......................................17
2. GENTRIFICATION AND URBAN GEOGRAPHY LITERATURE...............20
Gentrification...........................................20
Mixed Income Models......................................24
Political Theory and Urban Redevelopment.................27
Regionalism: Smart Growth and Local Economies............30
Democratization..........................................35
Community................................................36
Sustainable Environments.................................41
3. METHODOLOGY.................................................48
People and Place.........................................48
The Study Site......................................51
Population..........................................53
viii


Data.......................................................54
Units of Analysis................................................57
Measurements.....................................................59
Analysis...................................................70
4. PEOPLE..............................................................72
Introduction.....................................................72
Findings and Analysis............................................74
Housing Race and Ethnicity.................................74
Income Distribution........................................78
Denver Park Hill Housing: Income, Race, and Ethnicity......87
Rental and Home Ownership..................................88
Affordable For Sale Housing 2007...........................91
Stapletons Affordable Housing Definitions.................95
Tenure.....................................................96
5. ANALYSIS...........................................................101
Place...........................................................101
Findings..................................................107
Analysis........................................................116
Public Space Use..........................................119
Diversity of Seating......................................120
Access and Territoriality.................................121
Orientation...............................................123
IX


Access and Territoriality.....................123
6. CONCLUSION...........................................126
Summary and Interpretation........................126
Implications......................................140
APPENDIX
A. STAPLETON SOCIAL EQUITY PRINCIPLES...................149
B. INTERVIEW QUESTIONS: STAPLETON COMMUNITY
DEVELOPMENT LIAISON...................................150
C. INTERVIEW QUESTIONS: GREATER PARK HILL NEIGHBORHOOD
ORGANIZATION..........................................151
D. INTERVIEW QUESTIONS: GREATER PARK HILL
AND STAPLETON RESIDENTS...............................152
REFERENCES....................................................153
ENDNOTES......................................................161
x


51
52
77
91
91
92
93
94
103
108
109
109
112
113
114
119
119
120
120
121
122
122
132
133
134
135
136
137
138
139
LIST OF FIGURES
Mixed Use Urban Design Example.........................
Stapleton Transportation Map...........................
Denver County Population by African American...........
Stapleton 29th Street Row Homes........................
Stapleton Syracuse Village.............................
Stapleton Clyburn Village..............................
Stapleton Mercy Homes..................................
Stapleton Central Park Apartments......................
Stapleton Transportation Map...........................
Summer/Fall 2007 Issue of the Stapleton..............
Marketing Affordable Housing at Stapleton..............
Marketing Integration and Lifestyle at Stapleton.......
Stapleton Community Newsletter April 2007 (Spring).....
Stapleton Community Newsletter October 2007 (Fall).....
Stapleton Community Newsletter December 2007 (Winter)
SW Corner 29th Street Town Center......................
NW Corner 29th Street Town Center......................
SE Corner 29th Street Town Center......................
NE Corner 29th Street Town Center......................
View of Town Center Looking West.......................
Cow Art 29th Street Town Center........................
Fountain Art...........................................
Denver County Census Tract by Population White.........
Denver County Census Tract by Population Black.........
Stapleton District One Swimming Pool...................
The Supermarket at Stapleton...........................
Quebec Street Between Stapleton and Adjacent Park Hill..
East Side of North Park Hill Neighborhood..............
Inside Stapleton.......................................
Inside Stapleton.......................................
xi


LIST OF TABLES
Table
3 Allocating Social Equity Criteria...................................... 55
3.1 Triadic Model and Social Equity........................................ 56
3.2 Data Collection Matrix and Analysis.................................... 58
3.3a Accessibly and Affordability Indicators................................ 59
3.3b Accessibly and Affordability Indicators................................ 60
3.4a Design and Image....................................................... 61
3.4b Access and Territoriality.............................................. 62
3.5a Stapleton Comparison and Practice...................................... 65
3.5b Stapleton Community Development Liaison Interview.................... 66
3.5c Greater Park Hill Neighborhood Organization Interview.................. 67
3.5d Greater Park Hill Neighborhood Resident Interview...................... 68
4.1 Dissimilarity Index Denver Metropolitan Area Counties
1990 and 2000....................................................... 77
4.2 Average Home Sale Price in 2003........................................ 81
4.3 Average Loan Amount of Home Purchaser in 2003.......................... 82
4.4 Percent Sub Prime Loan in 2003......................................... 83
4.5 Median Income of Home Purchaser in 2003................................ 84
4.6 Workforce Shelter by Occupation........................................ 86
4.7 Affordable Rental Housing At Clyburn Street 2007....................... 92
4.8 Parkside Affordable Rental Units....................................... 93
5.1a Field Observations: Design and Image.................................. 117
5.1b Access and Territoriality............................................. 119
xii


CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION
This dissertation seeks to define how mixed-use urban form in the US
currently addresses the meaning of social equity in the context of the urban built
environment. This inquiry is conducted through a case study of the Stapleton
development project in Denver, Colorado and uses the Stapleton Development Plan
(Stapleton Development Plan, 1995) as a starting point. The Stapleton development
project is the former site of the Denver International Airport. The 4700-acre site is
currently being transformed into a residential and commercial mixed-use
development. Stapleton is located 15 minutes east of downtown Denver and sits
adjacent to five established neighborhoods. Two of these neighborhoods are majority
minority group populations. Incomes in the five neighborhoods vary and most of the
homes in all five neighborhoods are owner occupied single-family dwellings.
The Stapleton Development Plan (SDP) lists social equity as a guiding
principle in the construction of this redevelopment project. This dissertation
examined sections of the SDP that describe social equity and followed them through
implementation. The Stapleton Development Plan describes social equity as follows:
Equity, diversity and opportunity are fundamental to the objectives of
the redevelopment program. Stapleton redevelopment shall provide
broad access to social, cultural and economic opportunities for all
segments of the community. These opportunities will address
important community needs and enhance community stability.
Successful redevelopment of the Stapleton site will be a catalyst for
improvement in the larger community, particularly in the Denver,
13


Aurora and Commerce City neighborhoods surrounding the site.
(Stapleton Development Corporation, p. 4-5)1
In general, the social equity principle in the SDP describes a redevelopment
effort to provide social and economic inclusion such as shared decision-making
responsibilities, residency, and public amenities. Therefore, the dissertation focuses
on how Stapleton addresses opportunities for housing and access to goods and
services for minority and low-income populations.2
The dissertation builds on the concept of space as a social construction,
based on the work of Henri Lefebvre (1991) as its theoretical model. Lefebvres
theory argues that (social) space is a (social) product (p. 26). Subsequently, this
dissertation uses his argument to evaluate how social equity is produced for the
Stapleton development project. Lefebvre outlines his theory in a triadic fashion,
identifying the production of space as having three distinct moments (p. 40). These
moments are representations of space, representational space, and spatial practice.
In Lefebvres triadic model, each moment is meant to direct the next.
Representations of Space
The first moment in Lefebvres model is representations of space, which
refers to the conceptualization of a space. This moment takes a verbal form (that of
discourse) as a written plan. For the purposes of this dissertation, this moment is
represented by the SDP. Consequently, this moment also describes the abstract
uses and users of Stapletons space. Lefebvres theory purports that space is
conceptualized and designed to create a desired outcome, which is not accidental or
random. Space thus produced also serves as a tool of thought and action; that in
14


addition to being a means of production it is a means of control, and hence of
domination, of power (Lefebvre, 1991, p. 26). Therefore, this dissertation contends
that social and economic controls present at Stapleton were determined during the
conception of the space. This assertion also refers to whatever the degree of
flexibility or provision for social equity is currently available in the space. For
instance, the Stapleton Development Plan describes the uses of space as being
culturally and economically inclusive. Based on this idea, we can expect decision-
making processes regarding development to reflect the inclusive needs of a diverse
population such as diverse housing types, sizes and public spaces. Adjacent to the
Stapleton project are two neighborhoods that have a majority of minority residents;
North and Northeast Park Hill. The population of North Park Hill is more than 65%
African American and Latino. These populations are more than 90% of the Northeast
Park Hill neighborhood (Piton Foundation, 2008).3 The SDP conceptualizes the
redeveloped space as collaboration, specifically stating the inclusion of the adjacent
neighborhood populations. Therefore, the design of Stapleton would be expected to
reflect a more inclusive outcome than if such diverse parties had not participated.
Representational Space
This leads to the second moment of Lefebvres triad, which is
representational space. Lefebvre defines representational space as the space of
symbolic presentation. It is nonverbal. Representational space is experienced
through images and symbols that overlay physical space and make symbolic use of
its objects (p. 39). This second moment builds on how the space was conceptualized
15


in the abstract (the representations of space) and produces the conceived space in
physical form. Therefore, the built environment is the physical manifestation of the
ideas and values of those early conceptions.
In the case of Stapleton, this dissertation argues that if inclusiveness was
established during conceptualization of the development, then the diversity
mentioned earlier should be reflected in the physical environment. Therefore, based
on the SDP, we would expect to see an environment that symbolizes culturally and
economically diverse uses and users on the ground. Lefebvres theory describes
how one component of the triad builds or develops the next; the representational
space should reflect its predecessor. Likewise, the third moment of this triad reflects
the previous two.
Spatial Practice
The third moment is spatial practice. This is the outcome of the entire
process. Spatial practice, in this context, reflects how all those who have participated
in constructing the environment perceive the space, including current users. In the
case of Stapleton, this moment is the current end result of the efforts to construct
social equity using the built environment and should convey economic and cultural
diversity through the people and activities present on the ground.
The Stapleton development project is less than 15 years old, based on the
projects adoption into the Comprehensive Plan by the Denver Planning Board and
the City and County of Denver in 1995. The project is less than 10 years old, in terms
of its inhabitation. The purpose of this dissertation is to establish the meaning of
social equity in the context of the urban built environment. Therefore, this
16


dissertations evaluation of the Stapleton development project is based on the
conceptualization and implementation of socially equitable spatial arrangements that
have led to the environments present state 4. Consequently, the research question
for this dissertation is how, and to what extent does the Stapleton Development Plan
construct or obstruct social equity through use of the urban built environment.
Rhetoric or Reality
Qualitative research methodology, in the form of a case study, was selected
for this dissertation in order to provide a preliminary glimpse into a situation with very
complex social, economic, and perhaps moral aspects. The focus of this dissertation
involves how the sharing of physical space (both residential and commercial) by
culturally and economically diverse populations occurs in an equitable manner. In
order for this phenomenon to take place within the stratified social system of the US,
a deeper potential for social change (including the reallocation and redistribution of
local resources) must exist. This form of social change refers to decreasing spatial
segregation that occurs as a result of gentrification (Briggs et al., 2005; Levy,
Comey, & Padilla, 2006), and urban redevelopment policies (Fainstein, 2001;
Squires & Kubrin, 2005 ).
A case study was determined as the appropriate form of inquiry because it
allows for a multi-method approach (Flyvbjerg, 2006) to reflect the multiple
perceptions of the phenomenon in question. In consideration of a similar case, David
Harvey (1975) concluded:
The problem of the proper conceptualization of space is resolved in
human practice with respect to it. In other words there are no
17


philosophical answers to philosophical questions that arise over the
nature of space, the answers lie in human practice, (p. 13)
In this respect, this dissertation utilizes an empirical evaluation to distinguish
rhetoric from reality, noting the nature of social equity in the context of the Stapleton
built environment. Denzin and Lincoln (2005) stated that qualitative research, as
applied in case studies, has had many distinct moments in the history of qualitative
inquiry in North America (p. 3). This dissertation is part of the moment called
fractured future that, according to the authors, began in 2005. The moment of
fractured future asked the social sciences and humanities to become critical sites for
conversations about democracy, race, gender, class, nation-states, globalization,
freedom, and community (Denzin & Lincoln, p. 3).
The dissertation is organized into five remaining chapters that describe the
meaning of equitable social-spatial relationships in an urban setting. Chapter 2 is a
review of the literature that explores the cultural and economic significance of urban
redevelopment through gentrification and political theory. The chapter provides
context regarding how different actors may perceive the built environment. Chapter 2
concludes with a working definition of social equity in the context of urban
redevelopment. Chapter 3 describes the methodology used for this inquiry and
provides tables and a matrix to explain the multiple forms of data collection and
analysis employed.
The analysis of this data is divided into two chapters. Chapter 4 analyzes
social equity in terms of the people in the environment. This chapter describes social
and economic representations, based on the housing opportunities for minority and
18


low-income populations. The presence of these populations reflects the degree of
diversity in Stapleton. Chapter 5 reveals the accessibility of the development project,
physical and social, for diverse minority and low-income populations. It describes the
physical public space and the nature of accessibility that characterizes the inclusion
of diverse populations in the development project. This chapter reflects how the
design (image and function) of the environment symbolizes who is welcome.
The dissertation concludes with a final chapter that ties the processes of
social space to social production and social equity. This interpretation utilizes urban
theory and discusses ways social equity may evolve, focusing on the contemporary
political economy and urbanization. In this context, the contemporary political
economy reflects policy driven (statutory and regulatory) decision-making processes
that are associated with the distribution and allocation of local resources.
The importance of this study lay in its ability to aid decision makers with
addressing those aspects of contemporary urban redevelopment that negatively
effect low income and minority groups. The purpose of such an effort is to aid policy
makers, urban planners, designers, and community developers in constructing
inclusive, quality urban spaces.
19


CHAPTER 2
GENTRIFICATION AND URBAN GEOGRAPHY
Gentrification refers to an increased demand for inner-city dwellings and land,
changing the social composition of the inhabitants from lower to higher status groups
(Hjorthol & Bjornskau, 2005). From the outside, gentrification may appear organic, as
a natural process of change. However, the process of gentrification, as summarized
by Bridge (2007), suggests that urban space is a commodity, for sale to the highest
bidder, hence disadvantaging the less economically well off:
There is a depressing inevitability of the rent gap on inner-urban land being
closed in certain ways that result in the increase in high socioeconomic groups and
the displacement of working-class and lower income groups from these areas of the
city. (p. 32)
Scholars have made this point by distinguishing three waves of gentrification,
based on the characteristics of the populations who are doing the gentrifying and
those being displaced (Delanty, 2003; Preteceille, 2007; N. Smith, 2002). The waves
describe challenges to forming social equity in urban America through the use of the
built environment. The first wave of urban gentrification (late 1940s to 1970s)
referred to white-collar middle-class populations moving into neighborhoods
occupied by blue-collar working-class and minority groups. As white-collar middle-
class moved into these neighborhoods, established populations of blue collar
working-class and minority groups were displaced due to increased rents and
20


property taxes and forced to relinquish their ties to the social networks located within
their neighborhood that made community possible (Gale, 1979; Lipsitz, 1995). Goods
and services offered to the middle-class newcomers invited wealthier clientele, and
fewer goods and services were available to meet the needs of the previously
established lower income working-class and minority residents. Therefore, cultural
dynamics shifted to accommodate the incoming socially and economically privileged
people now moving into these central city neighborhoods. The first wave of
gentrification implemented urban renewal schemes that enabled capital shifts in
urban form framed in privileged class hegemony (Caro, 1975; Hjorthol & Bjornskau,
2005). Delanty (2003) argued that:
[G]entrification itself led to population displacement and was an
expression of the emerging new capitalism in the wake of the
disappearance of the traditional working-class. For its critics,
gentrification was a commodification of urban space and ideology of
postmodern consumption, which announced that cities were
uninhabitable and had to be revitalized around middle-class notions of
taste . gentrifiers were the new class of postmoderns, a yuppified
housing class, (p. 59)
Hence, gentrification facilitated a restructuring of central city accommodations
for higher income residents and investors. In the early 1980s, the second wave of
gentrification encroached upon this previous group of gentrifiers, who had come into
the central part of the city decades earlier. In this second-wave encroachment, first-
wave gentrifiers faced displacement in much the same way that established lower
income working-class and minority neighborhoods did when the middle-class moved
into these neighborhoods. In discussing the second wave, Delanty (2003) pointed to
another shift in capital. In this instance, the very well off have settled in urban centers
21


and the capital that accompanies and follows them threatens to displace first wave
gentrifiers, who are now lower income in comparison to the higher income second-
wave gentrifying populations. Therefore, gentrification represents a continuous,
divisive encroachment of spatial arrangements in the central part of cities, based on
populations that represent a hierarchy of social and economic status. Urban
residential space is becoming highly commodified and globalized, with buyers
coming from all parts of the world and paying huge sums of money for real estate,
which is no longer affordable to the first wave of gentrifiers (Williams & Smith, as
cited in Delanty, 2003, p. 60).
As a result of both the first and second waves, more low income and minority
populations may find it harder to nurture the commonalities that constitute social
bonds. Gentrification disrupts social networks and ties to social-cultural opportunities
to interact and maintain community bonds. These bonds establish and maintain
social capital (Putnam, 2000; Rubin & Rubin, 2001). Neighbors are inclined to bond
with one another through shared social-cultural and economic goals. Social ties
become unstable when such networks are forced into continuous transformation.
This instability brought about by physical displacement fosters social anxiety. It is
therefore important that residents are able to stay in their neighborhoods once
redevelopment has occurred in order to maintain their sense of community (Dreier,
Mollenkopf, & Swanstrom, 2001; Rubin & Rubin, 2001).
N. Smith (2002) argued that the third wave of gentrification is more
generalized than the previous two gentrifying waves; meaning gentrifiers are no
longer only individuals moving into established neighborhoods, but also constitute
22


governments, corporations, or both in partnership. By the 1990s, gentrification
involved public and private capital partnerships around the world (Smith, N., 2002, p.
439). Gentrification has thus evolved as a competitive urban strategy within the
global economy (Susser, 2002). These new urban forms indicate an extreme
polarization of wealth and poverty.
In addition to gentrification, the frequently cited work of Massey and Denton
(1996) emphasized another aspect of urban displacement specific to race and
residential segregation in American cities. Their work detailed historic studies and
their own research of thirty metropolitan areas in the US to illustrate how race and
ethnicity are used to separate communities and create an unequal opportunity
structure, using the built environment to privilege non-minority populations. The
authors construct dissimilarity and isolation indices that demonstrate residential
racial bias on the part of non-minority homeowners toward African Americans more
so than any other race ethnic group in the US (1870, 1910 and 1940 p 21-23).5 It is
this persistent racial bias that exacerbates divisiveness among neighborhoods and
creates barriers to equity through the built environment. Furthermore, the work of
Logan (2002) demonstrated that higher income status does not necessarily
guarantee that African American or Hispanics will be welcome in non-minority
neighborhoods.
Scholars note that important issues driving urban social policy to construct
equitable redevelopment are concentrated poverty and a shortage of affordable
housing (Bratt, Stone, & Hartman, 2006; Dreieretal., 2001; Massey & Denton, 1996;
Smith, J.,2000; Smith, A. 2002). In many cases where a social policy has been the
23


guiding force in contemporary redevelopment, mixed income models have been
implemented with some success.
Early mixed income models include post World War II Chicago Housing
Authoritys Gautreaux program, the Moving to Opportunity Program (MTO),
sponsored by HUD; and Hope VI, also sponsored by HUD and local housing
authorities (Katz, Kling, & Liebman, 2000; Rosenbaum, Stroh & Flynn, 1998). In
these cases, very low income residents in public housing were given vouchers to
relocate. Older public housing units were renovated to attract low-income residents
into developments with very low income residents, and in other instances, new
housing developments were built by public housing authorities to accommodate low
to market rate household incomes.
These program models revealed a decrease in concentrated poverty and an
increase in social integration among different populations leading policy makers to
establish that mixed income housing is a form of socially equitable development
(Rosenbaum, Stroh & Flynn, 1998). Concentrated poverty occurs when a population
is cut off from access to needed resources such as jobs, housing, transportation,
food and education. They are spatially segregated from the opportunities to access a
standard of living that would improve their quality of life. Therefore they become
trapped in poor neighborhoods. Briggs (2005) noted:
The risks posed by the uneven geography of opportunity, not to
mention the challenges associated with changing it, are all but
invisible on the public agenda as well as in the nations intellectual life.
When social equity issues in housing receive attention at all, it is the
affordability crisis, not the geography of exclusion that attracts
attention, (p.5)
24


However, as A. Smith (2002) reported, there are several mixed income models from
which to select and these models address different groups and different social
problems based on geography, market behavior, and the response of local political
will.
Mixed Income Models
Smiths (2002) study of mixed income housing offers an overview of past
research and interviews with developers, property managers, and financiers of mixed
income models in order to provide a framework for a mixed income housing
discussion. His findings described policy goals, strategies, and results of mixed
income development. Smiths research confirmed that social problems associated
with concentrated poverty (e.g., crime, unemployment, social isolation, and
neighborhood decline) can be alleviated through mixing incomes. His research also
confirmed earlier findings regarding the positive relationship between mixed income
modes of social integration, leading policy makers to believe that association with, or
at least exposure, to higher income groups will motivate lower income groups. A.
Smith (2002) established that mixed income housing developments vary greatly by
population served, location, tenure type, management, and scale. In his research,
the mixed income environment possibilities consisted of mixed income developments
that are on a scale closer to or further away from market rate property. He
established five mixed income scenarios using market rate housing as a baseline;
1. Moderate Income Inclusion: Predominantly market rate developments
that include units for moderate-income households.
25


2. Low Income Inclusion: Predominantly market rate developments that
include units for low-income households.
3. Broad Range of Incomes: Serves market rate, moderate or low income
households, and extremely low-income households.
4. Market Rate Inclusion: Predominantly low-income developments that
include market rate units.
5. Affordable Mix: Serves moderate or low income and extremely low-
income households (Smith, A., 2002, p. 1).
Smiths (2002) research focused on the success of alleviating urban problems. The
findings note that success is evidenced more by a healthy mixed income community
than by an isolated mixed income development, indicating that successful strategies
geared toward healthy neighborhoods vary and mixed income does not guarantee
success.
Mixed income housing is not a silver bullet for overcoming the difficult
challenges faced by families seeking to escape from poverty or the
realities of the housing market. Thus, it is essential to be clear about
what a developer or policymaker is trying to achieve. (Smith, 2002, p.
2)
If addressing the inequalities that result from an uneven geography of
opportunity is the goal, then accessibility should be combined with affordability
(Briggs, 2005) Consequently, a contemporary design scheme such as the transect
replaces single-use design that was so prevalent throughout the last half of the 20th
century. Single use design separated human activities and required extensive travel,
sometimes great distances, from one activity to another (Talen, 2005). Considering
the negative consequences of exclusion for low-income populations, the transect
26


approach increases the likelihood of a more accessible built environment. It entails
finding an appropriate spatial allocation of elements that make up the human habitat
along a continuum of rural to urban needs. In this way, human environments can be
pedestrian oriented and diverse; designed to fit the needs of the local sphere (Duany
& Talen, 2002)). New urbanism design illustrates such an environment. This design
is a compact urban form (higher density in comparison to sprawl) where it is possible
for residential and commercial retail to coexist in one location. As a planning axiom,
diversity of the physical environment calls for a return to mixed-use neighborhoods
that contain a broad range of uses, housing types, and people (Calthrope & Fulton,
2001). Furthermore, where social equity is advanced, a mixed-use redevelopment
scheme can incorporate mixed income housing, goods and services to
accommodate diverse uses and users. Hence, mixed-use could provide an
opportunity to reverse the consequences of urban spatial inequalities.
Political Theory and Urban Redevelopment
Fainstein (2001) describes a typical redevelopment scenarios as business
interests that dominate negotiations between government, community, and the
private sector regarding the content of redevelopment. Her argument focused on
three redevelopment theories liberal, structural, and regime that identify urban land
use patterns of behavior. Liberal redevelopment theory stresses choice, both
economic and political. Economic choice is an indication of patterns of urban growth
and decline. It is argued that suburbanization and technological advancement incur
economic competition between municipalities. Tension arises as these municipalities
compete against each other in order to position themselves to attract industries. In
27


this case, municipalities offer various incentives to entice industries and in doing so
promote economic growth. This leads to absolute replacement and displacement of
low income populations. The author criticizes this theory for not examining the many
issues that come about for low income populations because of the perceived
competition among places. For example, it lacks discussions about the issues that
come about when local governments depend on private capital to the extent that it
disadvantages moderate to low income working people.
Structuralist redevelopment theory also focuses on economic
relationships. However, in this case, it refers to economic factors that
influence social action. Contemporary structuralists argue that capital
operates in an era of global economic restructuring and extreme
social and spatial inequality. Yet, structualists will vary in their
arguments between production and collective consumption with
regard to an analysis of the built environment (Fainstein, 2001, p. 11).
For structuralists, the cause of inequalities is tied to the various types of public-
private partnerships in which municipalities offer incentives to entice industry and by
so doing invite investors to the table who rarely have the current local populations
best interest in mind. These relations lead to greater disparities, social and
economic, as communities try to maintain their quality of life.
On the other hand,regime theory is based on individual choices made
through political action. It suggests that governing bodies shape preference. Painter
(as cited in Fainstein, 2001) explained, within the regime perspective, the political
process is understood in terms of decision-making in the face of patterns of costs
and benefits in which means-end rationality is deployed to provide the greatest
returns to self-interested individuals(p. 14). The theory emphasizes that those with
the most resources gain support for their cause. This characteristic may allow for the
28


contestation among various stakeholders. Divergent groups and individuals have
varied levels of political, economic, social, or cultural resources that create positions
of advantage over another group. Therefore, this theory can provide room for
discussions about race, ethnicity, and class differentiation and ideological forces that
accommodate conflict and corporation in redevelopment scenarios. This dissertation
finds that regime theory, as with some aspects of the structuralist theory of
redevelopment, provides pockets of resistance to economic determinism found in
liberal redevelopment theory. It can further be argued that it is only through
opportunities for resistance that social change can occur. In this discussion, social
change refers to increasing opportunities for populations of divergent groups to
challenge the status quo and locate places for real collaborative or shared social and
economic spaces.
City investment declined in comparison to suburban growth for decades. This
disinvestment diminished the ability of cities to compete with new suburban
environments. Challenges to reversing the negative trends of decentralization for
some municipalities lie in their ability to compete effectively with suburban outgrowth.
Liberal theory represents how cities and their communities compete for populations
of potential employees, investors, and consumers to fund public services and
support growth. These municipalities often collaborate with private capital investors
to promote affluent lifestyles, amenities, and environments in order to capture an
economic advantage, while simultaneously decreasing access to goods and services
for the less socially and economically advantaged (Smith, 2007).). These
collaborations also create housing barriers for low income and poor populations
29


through zoning restrictions limiting the building of multiple family dwellings and other
forms of affordable housing (Dreieret. al, 2001). In some cases, municipalities
promote cultural amenities (e.g., museums and festivals) to stimulate economic
growth and to draw the attention of potential higher income consumer populations
(Florida, 2002; Sheridan, 2002). In other cases, cities like Portland, Seattle and
Denver boast a sustainable city agenda, in which environmentally efficient buildings;
good schools, jobs, safe neighborhoods and an overall high quality of life are
commonly used as essential urban marketing tools (City Mayors, 2008; Smart
Communities Network, 2008).
Present redevelopment efforts have not provided the necessary changes to
turn around the effects of capitalist interests (decentralization and perceived
competition), which encourages divisiveness (Dreier et al., 2001). Therefore the
structural theory as presented by Fainstein, 2001, in which production is the root
cause of inequity is emphasized to articulate the false choices suggested by a liberal
agenda. The perception of competition among places only serves as a mechanism
for capital to reproduce itself in the form of higher income groups in the pursuit of
private market capital accumulation. In other words, the higher the price, the greater
the capital accumulation for private sector investors and municipalities. The outcome
of these public private partnerships suggests the need for new solutions that
encourage rather than discourage integration and inclusion. Regionalism is one
perspective with the potential to offer a solution to divisive political and economic
relations in urban environments across America.
Regionalism: Smart Growth and Local Economies
30


Based on individual choices made through political action, as suggested by
regime theory, governing bodies can choose to act in the interest of all citizens. The
mechanisms (tools and practices) employed determine the outcome for divergent
groups. If the political process is open and non coercive (Dryzek, 2002), 6
innovations can occur to foster a more equitable reality for a greater number. In the
case of regime theory, power is diversified to some extent. Similarly, ideologies other
than the status quo economic determinism may intervene to give voice to those not
often heard. Regionalism as a smart growth agenda may fit such a model of
diversification. It may extend opportunities to include those at the social and
economic margins of society.
In the last decade, low density development concerns escalated to new
reform agendas nationwide. Bruce Katz (2002), Senior Fellow and Director of the
Center on Urban and Metropolitan Policy for the Brookings Institute, identifies a
metropolitan agenda for smart growth urban reform, and the challenges and
strategies for new sustainable metropolitan communities as an equitable
development model. Smart growth encourages compact, urban development as a
deterrent to political and economic geographic division. It describes the present
shape and quality of metropolitan growth as non-sustainable and emphasizes that
these current growth patterns undermine urban economies and promote racial,
ethnic and class inequalites. Katz (2002, p. 14) explained that metropolitan economic
challenges all lead to disruptive growth patterns in urban America:
1. The decentralization of economic and residential life, aided by tax and
regulatory polices influence where households and firms can locate and
31


add to choices to move farther out. Favorable tax programs lean toward
supporting higher incomes and suburban development.
2. Patterns of racial segregation correspond closely with metropolitan
growth dynamics. In many metropolitan areas, barriers to employment
and educational opportunities limit choices for African-American
residents.
3. Older suburbs are becoming home to the working poor; families are
struggling because their wages are not keeping pace with the rising cost
of housing, childcare, transportation and other necessities of daily living.
Smart Growth Strategies
The Brookings Center on Urban and Metropolitan Policy (Katz, 2002)
identified several key strategies for urban leaders to improve the health of their urban
economies. The strategies include:
1. Improve business and residential locations through good schools, safe
streets, competitive taxes, and efficient services.
2. Build assets, such as institutions, universities, and hospitals, and create
urban employment clusters, cultural, and recreational areas.
3. Create quality neighborhoods, which include livable and distinctive places
and ranges of housing, commercial and residential choices for diverse
income households.
4. Address race, which continues to play a central role in the shaping of
urban environments.
32


Strategies that address the spatial distribution of affordable housing are
central to shaping metropolitan growth patterns. Katz (2002) argued that smart
growth coalitions are slow to incorporate affordable housing issues into their reform
agendas. In some cases, these coalitions have used smart growth to justify the
exclusion of affordable housing. Katz contended that low-income families live in poor
neighborhoods because of the lack of affordable housing in other areas. This
concern runs parallel to regime theory, in which various factions interact to advance
their agenda. However, Katz (2002) and others who argue for a socially equitable
urban spatial agenda are also part of the smart growth discourse (American Planning
Association, 2006). Cities and suburbs can work together for their combined
economic futures as a region, rather than competing municipalities. Duany, Zyberk,
and Speck (2000) discussed two types of growthtraditional neighborhoods and
suburban sprawl. Traditional neighborhood design entails a town or city of mixed use
and pedestrian friendly communities. On the other hand, sprawl is indicative of post-
World War II development, and is considered by Duany et al. (2000) as an artificial,
rather than organic, system of shared space representative of rational
comprehensive planning. Proponents of traditional neighborhood design argue that
sprawl consumes large amounts of land, creates congestion, and exacerbates social
and economic inequality (Appleyard, 2005(Larsen, 2005). Sprawl also promotes low
density, automobile-dependent and therefore isolated and exclusive environments
that are located away from the central city, which pro.otes urban decentralization
(Duany et al., 2000). Advocates of the traditional neighborhood design encourage
infill redevelopment and new communities. In this case, infill redevelopment
33


promotes reuse of obsolete land and medium- to high-density development, adding
to existing communities and first ring suburbs, rather than depleting more land and
other resources (Calthrope & Fulton, 2001). Designers should endeavor to ensure
that what gets built on the urban fringes is environmentally sound, economically
efficient and socially just as possible (Duany, et al., 2000, p. 185). However, critics
of a traditional neighborhood design argue that it will displace and replace low-
income populations. For example, Steinacker (2003) suggested that in order for
urban redevelopment to take advantage of traditional neighborhood design as an
alternative to suburban growth, cities will have to attract moderate- to high-income
households, the same households that make up the majority of suburban residents.
The concern here is that the attraction of higher income residents will exclude new
opportunities in the central city for working-class households, within these
developments (p.494). Traditional neighborhood design potentially encourages
gentrification by displacing established low- to moderate-income households from
their neighborhoods.
Steinacker (2003) argued that:
The larger the scale of a project, the more likely that the city tax base
will be improved and the specific neighborhood will be revitalized
(positive externalities increase), but this revitalization will most likely
have negative effects on the surrounding neighborhood (equity
decreases), (p. 494)
Increased capital into a community often raises the value of land and rent, creating
economic hardship for some current residents and the economic exclusion for new
residents at or below the area median household income.
34


Historically and traditionally, a social and economic dichotomy exits in the US
(Briggs, 2005; Logan,2002; Squires & Kubrin, 2003). These divisions have persisted
in American cities, segregating the population (Talen, 2005). In addition, the value of
land and its transforming uses have accompanied social and economic division to
strengthen geographies of power and subjugation as argued by a structuralist theory
of urban redevelopment and production (Fainstein, 2001). Critics of the land
transformation of established urban areas warn of social and economic divisiveness
through gentrification and present challenges to constructing more sustainable (i.e.,
inclusive and integrated) development (Slater, 2008). 7 Therefore, this discussion
addresses the challenges to conceptualizing and implementing equitable urban
spatial form and adds to the current dialog about solutions to constructing more
democratic environments.
Democratization
Democratization challenges geographies of power and subjugation (Dryzek,
2002). In the context of the physical environment, democratization refers to the
multiplicity of worldviews that inhabit the public sphere. Dryzek (2002) proposed
contestation across discourses in the public sphere as a key component of
democracy. A discursive process is social and intersubjective:
[Djeliberation has connotations of calm, reasoned, argument. This is
unnecessarily constraining and renders the model vulnerable to those who point out
that this sort of gentlemanly discussion is not a good paradigm for democracy. A
discursive process connotes something much more expansive in the kinds of
35


communication it allows, including unruly and contentious communication from the
margins. (Dryzek, 2002)
Discursive discourses provide room for more authentic forms of
communication to the degree that preference is void of coercive influence on
collective outcomes (Dryzek, 2002 .p. 9). Dryzeks discussion refers to opportunities
for multiple worldviews to emerge and instruct informed decision-making processes,
and therefore, a real analysis of processes in the name of the publics interest.
Discursive discourse is inclusive in the kinds of communication it allows and the
citizenry that may be involved as similarly advanced by Young (1990). This
dissertation argues that socially equitable urban redevelopment represents multiple
groups (race, ethnicity, and income), sharing space to construct community.
Community
The meaning of community and redevelopment in the context of
contemporary urban spatial arrangements are explored to understand how the
construction (conceptualization and implementation) of such inclusive urban
environments may occur. Community connotes varied social spatial meanings, and
therefore different patterns of social behavior related to space. For the purpose of
this dissertation, the meaning of community, as it reflects social relationships within
physical space is briefly examined to establish a context in which to explore the
challenges to sharing space. The multiple perceptions that divergent groups of
people who are sharing urban space bring to that space, and the challenges to
conceptualizing and implementing urban form for multiple groups is examined
through the concept of community.
36


Rubin and Rubin (2001) describe four types of community that reflect place,
culture, special interests, and common goals as frameworks for shared multiple
perceptions about physical space. Community as a geographic place may refer to a
neighborhood, large housing complex, or park as examples of local urban places. In
this case, people live and/or interact with each other in this place at least
occasionally. Solidarity communities refer to the bonds that people share, because of
ascriptive ties such as race, ethnicity, religion, or place of birth. In this case, people
share common cultural beliefs. Communities of interest apply to groups who share
concerns about specific issues, for example the environment (e.g., pollution of land,
water or air). Lastly, community may define a set of obligations or responsibilities that
people assume when they are willing to help one another. This willingness to help
can preexist as with solidarity groups, or it can come about as people work together
to achieve a common goal (p. 97).
It is now possible to consider the challenges to conceptualizing and
implementing community using these various characteristics that define multiple
perceptions which relate to space. Community occurs for different reasons. Because
multiple perceptions are present in the characteristics of community, this dissertation
suggests that conceptualizing and implementing a socially just environment presents
multiple challenges for incorporating diverse uses and users. Differences are
meaningful and can operate to create inclusion or exclusion (Dryzek, 2003; Young,
1990). Consequently, commonalities to address challenges within or across
differences may require cultural and economic sensitivity, which seem fundamental
to constructing equitable spatial arrangements for diverse populations. Rubin and
37


Rubin (2001) define this process as bootstrapping, which functions as a way to
create social bonds. In this process, individuals or groups build on small successes
that can turn into greater links among members, leading to formulating social glue
that can hold members together. Examples of bootstrapping that reflect a
relationship in physical space may be a stop sign for pedestrian passage or a local
gathering place, as suggested by geographic place communities. Area-wide events
such as holiday programs or cultural fairs represent solidarity communities in action.
An elementary school may invite an entire area of people to participate in a
neighborhood watch program representing a community of interest. In this case, all
household types may find interest in securing or preserving their common physical
environment in a committed way. Common goal communities are attached to a
desire to help. Perhaps a natural disaster can act as social glue. In the case of
hurricane Katrina, people across the nation began food and clothing drives in their
local areas to assist survivors. Likewise, many localized issues may occur to
establish a do the right thing response from those who share physical proximity and
contribute to a common goal. Rubin & Rubin (2001) describe two commonalities
across populations that are essential in order for social bonding to occur. The first
commonality is social capital, defined as the ways in which our lives are made more
productive by social ties (Putnam, 2000, p. 19). Whether referring to place, culture,
special interest, or common goals, if a bootstrapping mechanism can be instigated, it
is possible to establish social capital. The second commonality refers to a sense of
belonging. In this case, belonging to and feeling responsibility for the group or
38


territory occurs among members (Lang & Hornberg, as cited in Rubin & Rubin, 2001
P- 97).
In essence, community refers to perceptions (individual and multiple
worldviews (Rubin & Rubin, 2001). Perceptions reference ones sense of identity and
connection to others Putnam, 2000). People experience social interaction through
the spaces constructed to reflect various relationships (Dryzek, 2003). In the case of
constructing community, place, culture, special interest, or common goals can act as
social spatial agents to formulate opportunities for sharing physical space if the two
commonalities (social capital and a sense of belonging ) discussed are present.
Therefore, the production of space is directly tied to perceptions of social identities in
relation to that space (Lefebvre, 1991). [T]he shaping of space, which goes on in
architecture and, therefore, in the city is symbolic of our culture, symbolic of the
existing social order, symbolic of our aspirations, our needs, and our fears (Harvey,
1975, p. 31). Conceptualizing and implementing an equitable urban form reveals the
importance of considering multiple worldviews if constructing an inclusive
environment is the desired outcome.
Rubin and Rubin (2001) also describe community development as
strengthening neighborhood bonds and building social networks to create a capacity
for sustained problem solving. Constructing community therefore also entails
organizing space to empower people to take action. Community may be understood
as the ongoing creation of collective resources, which include building organizations,
sharing technical skills, and gaining ownership that unites people. The American
39


Planning Association (2006) defines social equity regarding the redevelopment of the
physical environment in the following way:
Social equity is the expansion of opportunities for the betterment that
are available to those communities most in need, creating more
choices for those who have few. Redevelopment activities can be
used to create or leverage better housing choices, better access to
goods and services, and employment opportunities.
... In all cases, planners need to guard against redevelopment
activities that are not respectful of the communities existing societal
and cultural fabric. (APA, 2006)8
Specific to this discussion are the processes of community development that
construct or obstruct equitable social spatial relations for current and future uses and
users of publicly owned urban redeveloped land, which represents a different
responsibility from privately owned land. Community development for the public good
not only reflects empowering neighborhoods, it also seeks to provide mechanisms to
maintain empowerment reflecting sustainability in order to build an inclusive future.
As Alinsky (1989) stated:
When people are brought together, or organized, they get to know
each others point of view; they reach compromises on many of their
differences, they learn that many opinions, which they entertained
solely as their own are shared by others, and they discover that many
problems, which they had thought of only as their problems are
common to all. (p. 54)
From the perspective of Rubin and Rubin (2001), a definition of community is
based on a sense of belonging (97) and there are various ways in which this
belonging can manifest. On the other hand, Delanty, (2003) argued that this sense of
belonging can carry with it entitlements, which in this case are constructed in an
exclusive manor, creating barriers to shared urban space. These entitlement
40


communities are often supported by institutionalized discriminatory practices such as
gentrification and urban sprawl (Aoki, 1993), which fit the liberal urban
redevelopment scheme characterized by economic determinism (Fainstein,2001). A
sense of belonging is perceived as a hierarchical privilege based on race, ethnicity,
and income status in relation to physical spatial arrangements. Sustainable
environments are explored to reflect elements of regime theory and to address the
social, economic, and environmental challenges that threatened spatial integration
efforts.
Sustainable Environments
The principles of sustainable development emerged from the negative
consequences of intense urbanization characterized by low-density sprawling
development and population growth (Porter, 2000). Human development patterns
related to intense urbanization also place even greater emphasis on land use
planning, and urban development reflecting social inequalities that present numerous
challenges.9 Around the world, concerns related to urban development patterns and
negative influences of depleting resources, for example, agricultural land, open
space, water, air quality, and spatial, cultural and economic challenges continue to
escalate at an alarming rate (Haughton & McGranahan, 2006; Koolhass, 2000).
Sustainability arguments vary, hence the challenges to facilitate change using
the built environment vary. From an ecological standpoint, sustainability refers to the
ability of living systems to maintain or maximize over time (Porter & Platt, 2000).
Conversely, Jepson (2001) referred to entropy as a condition of disorder impeding
sustainable development; it is the steady degradation or disorganization of a system
41


or society. He goes on to argue that the dysfunctionality of disrupted societies and
antisocial individuals mired in poverty constitutes a fundamental violation of one of
the principle requirements of a successful system (p. 504). Similarly, the ecological
framework prohibits the imposition by one agent on another of social, economic, or
psychological dysfunction. Therefore, the successful functioning of an organic
system, human and other, infers sustainability.
The ecological perspective emphasizes the need for radical change regarding
our current living and consumption patterns advocating conservation to preserve all
life (Dorsey, 2005). In contrast, the expansionist perspective envisions a future
similar to our present state, which supports economic expansion with the addition of
an environmental consideration. This argument suggests moderation in a
competitively driven social and economic structure and does not seem possible from
the ecological perspective. However, the expansionist framework is the dominant
perspective in the US. It celebrates human achievement, and the capacity of human
beings to adopt and innovate" (Jepson, 2001, p. 502) and carries similarities
associated with liberal redevelopment theory.
The integration perspective involves links between sustainability and urban
planning where land-use practices and tools at the local and regional level is
practiced. Jepson (2001) stated that the two are conceptually compatible and
provides examples within environmental and sustainability literature to support the
integration of environmental, economic, and social policies through planning
approaches. The author described four ways in which sustainability and planning are
linked. First, important ecosystem effects occur nearest to the echo system (p.
42


505). Consider that a planners work is mostly at the local and regional level.
Second, the types of global problems encountered vary according to local
circumstances, thus requiring a local policy response (p. 505). In this case, planners
are often connected to local communities as liaisons between local governments and
citizens. Additionally, planners who promote sustainable development are often
involved in local government decision-making processes in which collaborating with
private capital (corporations, banks and investors) may occur as N, Smith (2002) has
suggested. In this way, planners are in a position to advocate equitable urban form
with sustainable principles. Thirdly, political responsiveness is highest at the local
level (p. 505). Note that the decentralization of government at the federal level has
placed an increased burden on local municipalities to conceptualize local urban
development schemes in comprehensive plans in order to receive federal funding
assistance for their cities (Smith, J., 2000). The fourth and last reason Jepson,
(2001) provides is the strong conviction that is necessary for the achievement of
sustainability goals and objectives can only emerge in people who are directly and
personally involved in policy formation (p. 505). In this case, either local government
employs urban planning practitioners directly or as consultants to construct such
policy goals and initiatives. Consequently, urban planners are in a unique position to
facilitate opportunities to conceptualize and implement sustainable development:
Sustainability has the potential of providing much, if not all, of the
conceptual context (theories, goals, objectives, etc.) for the activity of
planning in the 21st-century. . provided they [planners] can gain a
perspective that draws from the organic tradition of their profession.
Planners have a potentially significant role to play in the attainment of
a more sustainable approach to development by building on the
43


professions intrinsic interest in integration and balance. (Jepson,
2001, p. 507)
Tools and practices in urban planning that support sustainable development
include, but are not limited to, compact urban form, the reduction of automobile use,
the creation of livable human scale environments, the restoration of local economies,
decent affordable housing and improved social equity and opportunities for the least
advantaged (Wheeler, 2000). Sustainable form refers to the physical development of
land for human needs and wants, as well as human development patterns and
characteristics in relationship to the capacity of the earth's natural system to
accommodate physical land use development over time (del Monte-Luna, Brook,
Zetina-Rejon, & Cruz-Escalona, 2004). Therefore, environmental, economic, and
social behaviors are tied together in the concept of sustainability because of the
complex strivings of a society involving physical arrangements, economic intentions,
and social and cultural interactions. Sustainable land-use planning entails the
distribution of land for various uses and users, through a more compact and less
sprawling form of development. It has been established that physical arrangements
are socially, culturally, and economically intertwined in the urban landscape. The
discussion now turns to the conditions that have the potentiality to provide solutions
to the challenges discussed earlier.
Mixed-use development is an example of compact urban form for diverse
uses and users (Burton, 2001). This form of development may include several of the
sustainable development tools and practices available to urban planners.
Environmentally conserving land through mixed-use development improves
44


accessibility, which can decrease the amount of land consumed and increase access
to goods and services (Duany et al., 2000).Likewise, this form of development can
increase opportunities to narrow the gap between disadvantaged and more well-off
populations through accessibility (Wrigley, 2002). In this case, a more inclusive
environment is possible, thereby lessoning entrenched segregated spatial patterns
through urban planning approaches rather than the traditional market approach.
"Market processes might produce socially unacceptable results . and . market
processes in urban areas are hugely affected by political forces controlled by upper-
income rent-seekers who favor socio-economic segregation" (Downs, as cited in
(Gordon & Richardson, 1997).
Mixed use is in contrast to post VWVII single-use development, which requires
the continuous consumption of land (Duany et al., 2000). In this case, goods and
services and to some extent, employment, are distributed within localized geographic
areas (neighborhoods and villages). Therefore, this design characterizes diverse
uses, representing the potential for equitable spatial arrangements. However,
equitable spatial arrangements include diverse users as well as uses (Calthrope &
Fulton, 2001).
Using Rawls (1972) Difference Principle as the basis for a discussion about
equity; neither social nor economic difference should limit opportunities to access
goods and services for daily life. The ability to thrive in one's own environment
should not be based on the degree of social or economic power. Rather, the
conditions of the least well off should demonstrate the baseline for all American
citizens. The dissertation defines socially equitable urban redevelopment space as
45


having a fair or just physical and social synchronization. Physical refers to the
distribution of primary social goods and refers to the ideas set forth by Rawls (1972).
The construction of physical urban space for different uses and users affects ones
life chances; costs and benefits (Dreir et al., 2001). Consequently, the distribution of
social primary goods through the built environment shall describe a fair or just
distribution of urban space that accommodates social, cultural, and economic
diversity. The social element is relational. It refers to the social relations of fairness or
justice that include divergent cultural representations as part of the structure of
decision making as argued by political theorist Iris Young (1990). Young (1990)
argued that social justice in the city requires the realization of the politics of
difference. Therefore, in this dissertation, equitable urban redevelopment is defined
as a fair or just allocation for and representation of the populations affected by such
redevelopment, when urban redevelopment is conceived and implemented to
construct a socially equitable outcome. Consequently, this discussion also concerns
a democratization of urban landscapes:
[The] rationale for attempting to change land use and transportation
patterns is to increase social equity. Suburbanization is "the result of
the affluent population escaping the fiscal and social problems of
central cities. . Once they establish such communities, they can
exercise land use controls to exclude households with different
housing needs or preferences. This process results in spatial
segmentation of the population on the basis of income, ethnicity, and
race; ... intervention is justified because suburban residents are
actively preventing a spontaneous mixing of population, thus denying
less affluent and minority populations access to suburban jobs and
suburban amenities." (Giuliano, as cited in (Gordon & Richardson,
1997)
46


The distribution of land use, goods, and services in an equitable manner also
refers to the redistribution of these resources historically separated in the US by
income and race, at the expense of these less advantaged groups (Pendall et al.,
2005). The literature on sustainability and social equity may refer to a redistribution
of wealth to alleviate an uneven distribution of resources (Burton, 2003). Where
equity is concerned, there is a greater focus by mainstream advocates for
intergenerational equity, which is sustainability as it relates to preserving ones own
way of life and appears problematic when intragenerational equity is discussed.
Intragenerational equity refers to sharing resources in a communitarian fashion,
reducing the negative affects created by extreme material accumulation and the
separation of well-off populations from other groups that are less fortunate (Jepson,
2001). This redistribution can be demonstrated using compact urban form such as
smaller lot sizes and less square footage dwellings, which will allow higher densities
and multifamily dwelling mixed among single-family dwellings or mixed incomes
where exclusive practices associated with race and income separation is deterred. In
short, distributional aspects of sustainability suggest a change in perceptions that
have necessitated race, ethnicity and income separation (Bobo & Fox, 2003).
Perception therefore plays a large role in the ability for sustainable development to
achieve equitable spatial arrangements.
47


CHAPTER 3
METHODOLOGY
People and Place
This research evaluates how mixed-use may accomplish social equity using
the built environment. The Stapleton Redevelopment Project in Denver, Colorado
serves as a case study with which to examine how and to what extent this mixed-use
urban land reuse endeavor either constructs or obstructs social equity using the built
environment. The location and scale of this development suggests a unique
opportunity to influence the social and economic future of Denver communities and
serve as a model for future Brownfield redevelopment across the United States. The
intention of this study is to define the distinctions, if any, between written policy and
the physical results of that policy. Consequently, this research investigates and
correlates equitable policy intentions and the reality of those intentions in order to
gain a greater understanding of the circumstances that create equitable relations that
lead to the eradication of stratified systems of inequality for urban working class
populations. These systems create barriers, economic and cultural, to accessing a
menu of resources such as housing, goods, and services that would improve the
quality of life in urban environments.
The stated intention of urban redevelopment has often been contrary to
outcomes (Carter et al., 1998; Hoffman, 2000). This is especially true for the less
culturally and economically advantaged groups in US cities (Denton & Massey, 1996;
48


Dreier et.al, 2001). Although the rhetoric of urban redevelopment suggests inclusive
intentions, whereas entire communities are the beneficiaries of an urban
redevelopment scheme, more often, the reality is that elites, who are proponents of
economic policy for private market capital gain and high income households, are the
primary recipients of such land reuse efforts (Fainstein, 2001).
Expected Outcomes
Compare affordable housing options and opportunities for Denvers low
income and minority populations within Stapleton housing options for these
groups.
Determine the accessibility of the redevelopment areas public spaces using
distance measures and traffic impediments, design and image to identify
opportunities for social and economic integration.
Distance and traffic impediments:
Q1. What are the distances between transit stops in adjacent neighborhoods and
the Stapleton town center, where goods and services are available? Are there
traffic impediments to accessing the site?
Design:
Q2. Is the town center design accessible to non-residents? In what ways is
physical accessibility inclusive or exclusive?
Image:
Q3. Does the image of Stapleton promote inclusion or exclusion? Is Stapleton
marketed to diverse populations? How is Stapleton marketed to diverse
populations?
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Conduct interviews with Stapleton management, residents and neighborhood
organizations to provide knowledge of the policies, plans and consequences
of the intended and actual outcomes of the redevelopment as an intervention
to create social equity using the built environment.
Conduct a content analysis using archival data, comparing (Stapleton
documents where social equity is concerned) Stapleton Redevelopment Plan
and the social equity criteria based on the relevant literature documenting the
consequences, costs, and benefits, of urban redevelopment.
This case study employs quantitative and qualitative data to describe,
measure, and evaluate the conceptualization, implementation, and outcomes that
relate to equitable urban spatial arrangements. Therefore, the methods employed in
this research entail gathering multiple forms of information, such as interviews, field
observations, archival documents, and census data in order to present multiple
perspectives about this case. The study is bounded in space by limiting the
investigation to one district area within the site and its processes.
A case study characteristically draws attention to the questions of what
specifically can be learned about the single case. It is both a process of inquiry about
the case, and the product of that inquiry" (Stake, 2005). The Stapleton Development
Plan (1995) describes the study site as a redevelopment project planned to
accommodate diverse uses and users within a mixed land use environment. Figure
3.1, taken from the Oregon Handbook for Commercial and Mixed Use Development
(2005) illustrates this form.
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Figure 3.1. Mixed Use Design Example
Urban designers and local governments describe such form as diverse and
sustainable (Burton, 2000; Dorsey, 2005; Porter, 2000 ;Talen, 2005). The meaning of
these terms for divergent racial, ethnic, and income groups that make up our urban
environment were explored.
The Study Site
With the building of Denver International Airport in the late 1990s, the 4700
Brownfield acres of the former Stapleton International Airport were declared
redundant. In 1995, the Stapleton Development Plan (SDP) for Integrating Jobs,
Environment and Community was officially adopted as part of the Denver
Comprehensive Plan (Stapleton Redevelopment Foundation, 1995) and this mixed-
use redevelopment project within the central city boundary began. The SDP
describes an urban planning and design approach that is to produce a socially,
51


economically, and environmentally sustainable community with social equity as a
guiding principle of the redevelopment programs success (SDP, 4-5). Although this
development encompasses three municipalities (Denver, Aurora, and Commerce
City), the dissertation focuses on District One within the City and County of Denver
boundary because this district is the first on the site to be developed for mixed-use
residential and commercial retail and can act as a benchmark to compare against
future districts on the site.
Figure 3.2 Stapleton Transportation Map from Stapleton Development Website 2008
52


The Stapleton development project is typical of a mixed use residential,
commercial, and retail project in its selection of compact land use components.
However, distinct to this development is its size. At this writing, it is the largest mixed
use urban redevelopment project of this type in the US (Denver Real Estate,
Stapleton, 2008).
The specific language in the plan policy describes social equity as fundamental
to the success of the redevelopment. Social equity is defined in the SDP as
specifically including diverse racial, ethnic, and income groups implying a social
policy agenda as a guiding principle (SDP, 1995, p. 4.5).
Population
Spatial barriers created for low income and minority groups indicate their
disadvantaged position in American cities (Briggs, 2006).10 It is low income and
minority populations that most often experience replacement and displacement as a
result of urban redevelopment activities (Fainstein, 2001). Therefore, the research
evaluated the extent to which social equity was present in the study site through
affordable housing and accessibility of the environment for non-residents. It is these
groups for which affordable housing is supposedly created and certainly, from a
social equity perspective, most needed (HUD, 2007; Levy, Comey, & Padilla, 2006;
Smith, 2007). Gentrification and other forms of urban redevelopment increase land
and rent values, therefore, affordability for low-income residents may be excluded
(Lees, 2003). Consequently, these groups do not share in wealth building through
affordable rental and homeownership opportunities once an area is redeveloped.
53


These populations also experience hardship with regard to accessing goods and
services. Additionally, minority groups of all incomes have experienced residential
segregation as spatial barriers to success. Therefore, race or ethnic status
constitutes a double burden if they are also low income (Bates, 2006; Dreier et al.,
2001; Logan, 2002).
Data
Quantitative and qualitative data collection was carried out over 12 months in
the field and one month for follow-up (October 2006 through November 2007). This
provided time to adequately observe the environment through several seasons and
allowed time to build trust for the interview process. One additional month was
allotted to revisit the site if necessary to clarify any data before analysis, which
brought the total time of fieldwork to 13 months.
What I attempted to do was to understand what is meant by social equity or
spatial social equity where the built environment is concerned. I turned to the
literature previously discussed in this dissertation and reflected on the cultural and
economic influences of urban redevelopment that affect working class minority and
low income groups (Bates, 2006 ; Briggs, 2006; Dreier et al., 2001; HUD, 2007;
Lees, 2003; Levy et al., 2006; Logan, 2002; Rawls, 1972; Smith, 2007; Young,
1990). I constructed a set of criteria that represents the converse affect of exclusive
redevelopment for these populations (see Table 3).
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Table 3
Allocating social equity criteria
Literature Criteria Data Findings
Ensure opportunities for minorities and low income (at or below 80% AMI) households to live in the urban redeveloped areaI 11 Ensure that a rental or ownership scheme is providec that affords minorities and low-income residents (at or below 80% AMI) an opportunity to acquire wealth within the redevelopment site12 Ensure design and planning decision-making processes that include the representation of all local residents that are impacted by the urban redevelopment site13 Ensure that the public space within the urban redevelopment site is accessible to diverse populations. This includes diverse uses, and users and therefore, entails economic, cultural and social inclusion14
I then examined the findings based on these criteria using the theoretical
framework of Lefebvre (1991). I used Lefebvres triad of social space, which
describes a process of producing space for social uses, and related the triad to the
processes of urban redevelopment policy, design and management of physical
space (Fainstein, 2001; Smith, 2002; Talen ,2005 ). In this way I determined whether
Stapleton was moving toward or away from social equity (see Table 3.1).
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Table 3.1
Triadic model and social equity
Lefebvres (1991) triad of social space Social eauitv influences
Representations of Space Policy for Stapleton (SDP and SE)
1. Relations of production and the order imposed by these relations 1. Formal and informal activity that directs urban redevelopment efforts
2. Verbal conception of space 2. Regulatory and statutory power such as comprehensive plans, design reviews, zoning or land use covenants
3. Space conceptualized by policy makers planners, social engineers, designers or technocrats, who identify what is lived and perceived with what is conceived (38) 3. Physical and social conceptualization of space for different uses and users expressed in written form
Representational Space Stapleton Design
1. Complex symbolisms linked to the clandestine side of social life (33) 1. Uses and the meaning associated with the built environment
2. Systems of non-verbal symbols and signs 2. The implementation of policy in physical form (social and economic)
Spatial Practice Social and Economic Management of the Stapleton Environment
1. Activities of production and reproduction 1. Social and economic expression of policy and design on the ground
2. The spatial practice of a society as revealed through the deciphering of its space 2. The coordination of uses and users within the urban redeveloped environment
Triangulation, defined as the use of multiple sources and methods to provide
corroborating evidence (Creswell, 1998) was employed for this case study (see Table
3.2).
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Table 3.2
Data collection matrix and analysis
Interviews Stakeholders Field Observations Archival data Stapleton Documents Census Data Housing (avg sale price and perchaser income
Literature Criteria Primary Data Primary Data Secondary Data Secondary Data
1). Ensure opportunities for minorities and low income (at or below 80% of AMI) households to live in the urban redevelopment area X X X
2). Ensure a rental or ownership scheme is provided that affords minorities and low income residents (at or below 80 % AMI) an opportunity to acquire wealth within the redevelopment site X X X
3). Ensure design and planning decision- making includes representation of all local residents impacted in the redevelopment site. X X
4) Ensure that public spaces within the redevlopment site are accessible to diverse users X X X
Units of Analysis
The units of analysis are (a) text (SDP interview transcripts and public
records), (b) the built environment (physical features and proximity of these features
57


to each other), and (c) individuals and groups. My variables related to the social
policy and economic advancement for mixed use urban redeveloped areas for low
income and minority groups. These variables were based on accessibility and
affordability for working minority and low-income groups using housing types and
price ranges for residential occupants (homeowners, renters) and public space
access to consumer goods and services.
Table 3.3a
Accessibility and Affordability Indicators
Variable Measure/lndicator Source Reference
Housing Compare Affordable Housing Parcel data/ Massey
Stapleton and Park Hill, Denver Denver County Denton (1996)
Neighborhoods Assessor Burton (2003)
Criteria (1,2) race/income Map on GIS 9.1 2000 Census
Race/Ethnicity Dissimilarity Index for the Denver Lewis Mumford Massy and Denton (1996)
Segregation Criteria (1,2) Metropolitan area Center Parcel data Denver County Assessor Map on GIS 9.1
Income Income comparison 2000 Census Lewis Mumford
Criteria (1,2) Park Hill, Denver, Stapleton Prcel data/ Center (2001)16
Measures neighborhood inequality (race and income) Average home sale price Average income of home purchaser Denver County Assessor Map on GIS 9.1 Denton (2006)
Location Proximity of mixed housing types to Census data Dreier et.al
Criteria (3,4) one another measures segregation by affordable and market rate housing type at Stapleton Parcel data Assessor Map on GIS 9.1 (2001)17
58


Table 3.3b
Accessibility and Affordability Indicators (Continued)
Variable Measure/lndicator Source References
Public Sphere Social Integration Direct Nemeth and Schmidt18
Access and physical design observation (2007); Whyte (1980)
Opportunity Access to goods (behavior Project for Public
Town Center and services mapping) Spaces (2001)19
Criteria (4) District Maps Dreier et.al (2001) GIS
Perception of Social Integration Stakeholder A. Smith (2002)20
Space for conceptualization Interviews
uses and users Criteria(3,4) implementation Stapleton, Workforce Development Residents
Theory of Social and economic Stapleton Strauss and Corbin
space for spatial integration Development Plan(1998)
diverse and diversity social equity Loftland and
uses and users principles Loftland
Criteria (1-4) and spatial equity (1995) criteria
Measurements
This research measured housing availability, affordability, and public space
accessibility for diverse uses and users. Measurements included housing location,
tenure, and price (Burton, 2003; Squires & Kubrin, 2004; Zubrinsky-Charles, 2005)22
and public space design, image and activities to evaluate social equity through social
integration (Nemeth & Schmidt, 2007; Project for Public Spaces, 2001; Whyte,
1980). The study measured access to goods and services by measuring the distance
between the district town center, where goods and services are centrally located,
and the edges of adjacent neighborhoods where public transit stops are located.
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Qualitative data consisted of field observations, interviews, and archival
documents. Interpretation entailed note taking, photographing, and diagramming the
physical environment providing an analysis of the design, image, and access. Field
observations included indices created by Nemeth and Schmidt (2007), who
determined features of the built environment that either encourage or control use and
consequently differentiate users. Using their three-point scale, design and image and
access and territoriality, field observations were photographed and measured.
Measurements consisted of the following variables for design and image: diversity of
seating; art, culture or visual enhancement and design that implies appropriate use.
Orientation accessibility and areas of restricted or conditional use measured access
and territoriality (Nemeth & Schmidt, 2007, Table 3.4.a). My interest was solely in the
authors approaches to publicly accessible space and soft controls, defined as
symbolic techniques found in small-scale urban design (3) in order to measure the
relationship between Lefebvre (1991) representations of space and the design of
Stapleton (see Table 3.2). In this study, such approaches indicate either
encouragement or discouragement of uses for working class minority and low-
income groups as users. Consequently, these variables indicate movement toward
or away from socially equitable spatial arrangements. Measuring design and image
determines the implication of a design for users. Measuring access and territoriality
determines the control of use for users. In this case, small-scale design may control
user behavior, thereby indicating who is welcome (see Tables 3.4.a and 3.4.b).
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Table 3.4.a
23
Design and image
Criteria Encouraging Public Space
Use
Diversity of seating: Moveable chairs
indicate flexibility and personal control
of choice. The amount of seating
enhances public use of space.
Scoring Criteria
0 = no seating
1= one type of stationary seating
2 = two or more types of seating or many
movable seats
Art, culture or visual enhancement:
Art and cultural attractions encourage
use. They can include stationary
fountains or statues or public
performances
Orientation Accessibility: Well-used
spaces are clearly visible from the
sidewalk and users should be able to
view surrounding public activity
0 = none present
1 = one or two minor installations, statures or
fountains
2 =one major interactive installation or frequent
free performances
0 = space not visible and orientated away
from public sidewalk
1 =space visible but orientated away from
public sidewalk
2 =space visible and oriented toward public
sidewalk
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Table 3.4.b
Access and territoriality
Criteria Controlling Use Scoring Criteria
Design to Imply appropriate use: 0 = none present
constricts circulation or directs 1 = one or two major examples
pedestrian flow 2 = several examples throughout space
Areas of restricted or 0 = non present
conditional use: Used to refer to 1 = one small area restricted to certain members
seating or tables only open or of the public
accessible to patrons. 2 = large area for consumers only or several smaller restricted areas
Although (Nemeth & Schmidt, 2007) suggest several potential applications for
the indexing, my interest applies to their suggestions for practitioners. Practitioners
can apply findings to improve design and maintenance of publicly accessible spaces
allowing more freedom of use (Nemeth & Schmidt, p. 11). This application speaks to
constructing diverse spaces for diverse users and followed the interest of my
research, which was to discover how social equity is constructed using the design of
this built environment. Use of the index is limited to the study site. In this study,
scoring is limited and is only used to imply the possible relationship between the
physical design and accessibility. This strategy was one of many methods employed
to tease out possible indications and implications for social equity using the built
environment. Visits were also limited to one week during the summer of 2007,
62


exploring the physical place as a social landscape through field diagrams and
videotaping. The research included one videotaped event, a farmers market, to
observe any changes that might have been made to the physical environment to
accommodate the events users. Visual documentation, GIS, and videotaping, depict
the physical environment and in some cases put a face to interviews, all to capture
the meaning of social practice (see Table 3.1) (Lefebvre, 1991; Project for Public
Spaces, 2005; Whyte, 1980; Young, 1990). A visual representation of spatial
relationships between features within the geographic area of study and of the users
describes the diversity occurring or not occurring within the environment for different
racial, ethnic, and income groups.
The interviews conducted were semi-structured, asking specific questions
related to the Stapleton environment (see Appendixes B-D) and included audio and
video tape recordings and transcriptions. The interview process then took on a
snowball effect, with one participant leading me to yet another, often by word-of-
mouth. I interviewed two members of the Stapleton management team with
community and design expertise, two Stapleton residents (one an entrepreneur and
the other a single mother), two Park Hill neighborhood residents (both longtime
residents of the area; one a former administrator for the Denver Civil Rights
Coalition) and the chair of The Greater Park Hill Neighborhood Association.
Additionally, many conversations were conducted with current and previous elected
officials of the Stapleton and Park Hill district.
Archival documents included the Stapleton Development Plan (SDP), (the
section describing how social equity is conceptualized and implemented), as well as
63


Stapletons quarterly magazine and community newsletter, which provided insight
about how the environment is perceived and its impression managed by Stapleton
management and community. These documents and the interviews were compared
to the social equity principles and evaluation criteria to provide insight into the
conceptualization and disposition guiding the construction of this built environment
(see Tables 3.2 and 3.3.) Reporting archival data entailed categorizing and counting
thematic references based on the four criteria for social equity taken from the
literature and were as follows: (a) affordable housing, (b) economic and cultural
diversity, and (c) participation in development. Where these themes were presented
in a literal sense, they were highlighted and placed within the specific matching
criterion they addressed, indicating a desired goal or effect (see Tables). Last,
photographs of the environment and its juxtaposition to the Park Hill neighborhood
provided a contrasting view of design and image. In this case, the existing
demographics of the Park Hill urban neighborhood adjacent to the Stapleton
development is majority minority (African American and Hispanic) families and varied
income levels.
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Table 3.5.a
spauaiiybqunapieionTgni Analysis Criteria,
Stapleton Comparison, and Practice1
Stapleton social Stapleton Illustrated goaVeffect
Criteria2 equity guidelines 5 archival data * outcome comparisons 5
Ensure opportunities for minorities and low income households (at or below 80% AMI) to IKre in the urban redeveloped area
Ensure a rental or ownership scheme is provided that affords minorities and low-income residents (at or below80% AMI) an opportunity to acqure wealth within the redevelopment site
Ensure design and planning decision-making includes representation of all local residents impacted in the redevelopment site
Ensure that the public spaces of the redevelopment Site are accessible to diverse populations (diverse uses, and users, economic, cultural and soda)
1 See Appendix A
2 This column denotes representations ofspace h ls the spare conceived, conceptualraed in die literature
5 This column denotes representations of space as it is conceived, conceptualized in the Stapleton plan social policy guidelines of social equty
4 This column denotes supportive documents (Stapleton Magazine and contractual agreements) as representations ofspace conceived
5 This column shall denote demonstrated examples of the critena addressed as spatial practice
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Table 3.5b
Responses to Uses and Usersof the Environment__________________________,_______
/ /'
Stapleton Community Devebpment ,x / 1
. /' /
Liaison Interview1 /' Question 1 / Question 2
Questbn 3
Crleria
Response Q11.1.2. Response Q2 Response Q3
Ensure opportunities for minorities and bw inoome (at or bebw 80% AMI) households to live in the urban redeveloped area
Response Q1 3b Response Q2 Response Q3
Ensure a rental or ownership scheme is provided that affords minorities and low inoome residents (at or below 80 % AMI) an opportunityto acquire wealth within the redevelopment site
Response Q1.3 Response Q2 Response Q3
Ensure design and planning decision making include representation of all local residents impacted by the redevelopment site.
Res ponse Q1.1,12,1,3a Response Q2 Response Q3
Ensure that the public spacesofthe redevelopment site are accessible fo diverse populatbns (diverse uses, and users, economic, cultural and social)
1 Responses indicate the cnteria addressed by that question See Apperdix 6
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Table 3.5.C
Responses to Usesand Usersof the Environment
Greater Park Hill Neiahhorhood Oraanizatbn Interview1 / / / Question 1 / Question 2 7 / / / Question 3 y//Questton4 y^Que^ionS
Criteria
Response Response Response Response to Q 5.5.a
Ensure opportunities for minorities and bw inoome (at or bebw 80% AMI) householdsto live in the urban redeveloped area
Response Response toQ5.a
Ensure a rental or ownership scheme is provided that affords minorities and low inoome residents (at or below 80 % AMI) an opportunity to acquire wealth within the redevelopment site
Response Response Response Response
Ensure design and planning decision making include representation of all local residents impacted by the redevelopment site
Response Response to Q5.b-d
Ensure that the public spacesof the redevelopment site are accessible to diverse populatfons (diverse uses, and users, economic, cultural and social)
1 Responses indicate the criteria addressed by that question See Appendix C.
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Table 3.5 d.
nent of the Environment
Greater Park Hill and Stapleton
Neiahtorhood Resident Interviews1 / / Quests 1 / y'' Question 2 / ' Question 1 Question 2
Criteria Park Hill Park Hill Stapleton Stapleton
Response Response la Response Response 2.a
Ensure opportunities for minorities and bw income (at or below 80% AMI) households to live in the urban redeveloped area
Response 2b Response la
Ensure a rental or ownership scheme is provided that affords minorities and low inoome residents (at or below 80 % AMI) an opportunity to acquire wealth within the redevelopment site
Response Response
Ensure design and plamirg decision making include representatbn of al local residents impacted by the redevelopment site.
Response 2.be Response 2. b-c
Ensure thatthe pubic spacesofthe redevelopment site are accessible to diverse populations (diverse uses, and users, economic, cultural and social)
1 Responses indicate the catena addressed by that question. See Appendix D.
Quantitative data detailed a comparison of income limits by family size for
affordable housing homeownership in Denver and Stapleton and a comparison of
income limits by the number of bedrooms for rental properties in Denver and
Stapleton as presented in Tables 3.3a and b.24 The area median income (AMI) by
race and ethnicity provided additional information about available opportunities for
different groups at Stapleton by comparing demographic characteristics of adjacent
neighborhoods and the Denver metropolitan area. In this way, we can learn about
how a mixed-use development such as the Stapleton project is situated to address
socially equitable spatial arrangements. A comparison of home ownership and rental
opportunities provided insight regarding who is likely to be eligible for such
68


opportunities at Stapleton and how similar or different the cultural and economic
demographics are in comparison to the metropolitan area and adjacent
neighborhoods. This comparison included median income of home purchaser, loan
data, and average home sale price. Other comparisons, such as race and income
segregation in the Denver metropolitan area, are used to provide context to compare
the opportunities available at Stapleton based on the criteria taken from literature.
Cultural and economic demographic data is not yet available at Stapleton because of
its status as a new neighborhood. This information will be available with the 2010 US
Census. Stapletons residents began to move in after the last census was conducted.
More information will be revealed in the next census at the census block level. Using
this current data will help understand how social equity is conceptualized and
implemented.
Using the dissimilarity index constructed from the census data I compared
economic and social opportunities based on segregation by household income and
race for metropolitan Denver to the housing options for different racial, ethnic, and
income groups in the area (i.e. affordable housing as low-income less well off and
market-rate as most well off). Burtons (2003) study defined low-income households
as renters and compared them to homeowners. This study defines low-income
households as those households with incomes at or below 80% of the area median
income (AMI) as currently determined by the US Department of Housing and Urban
Development (HUD). Her findings concluded that compact urban form provided
access to supermarkets and decreased social segregation for low-income
populations. My study used the dissimilarity index to determine the level of
69


segregation present in adjacent neighborhoods and the possibility of social equity by
mixed income and housing type distribution at Stapleton.25 Multiple measurements
reflect triangulation, increasing credibility and trustworthiness (validity and reliability)
and enhance analysis (Creswell, 1998; Yin, 2001). Direct observations of public
meetings, events, and public and semi public places provided information about
various opportunities for diverse cultural and income group inclusion at Stapleton.
Analysis
Analysis of social goals was performed on textual discourse (SDP social
equity guidelines, supporting archival data, and interviews) as the discourse related
to the criteria derived from the literature (see Tables 3 and 3.1). Information garnered
from interviews with residents and management of Stapleton and neighborhood
organizations described and analyzed perceptions of this urban environment for
diverse uses and users illustrated in tables. The study also included an inventory of
affordable housing and market rate housing to determine the availability of
opportunities for different cultural and economic groups. This inventory was
presented private housing options and public accessibility using geographical
information systems (GIS) maps, field observations, and photographs. Description
and analysis were based on Lefebvres (1991) representations of space (space as
conceived), referring to policy; representational space (space referring to physical
form design and implementation of policy), and spatial practice (spatial outcomes
that reflect conceived and perceived spatial experiences through the management of
spatial organization, uses and users) to disclose how particular spaces were
constructed and used. The objective was to identify how space conceived directs
70


how space is lived and perceived through a redevelopment plan text and its
implementation. The criteria established for spatially equitable urban redevelopment
and the social goals put forth by Stapleton management and the SDP was compared
to determine the conceptualization of these stakeholders regarding the physical,
social, and economic opportunities available for diverse uses and users. Such a
comparison of the relationships between the conceptualization and implementation
of an urban planned development may lead to understanding how institutional
approaches are epistemologically sustained and build knowledge that will enhance
our ability to create and navigate social goals using the built environment as
discussed.
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CHAPTER 4
PEOPLE
Introduction
The stated intention of urban redevelopment has often been contrary to
outcomes (Carter et al., 1998; Hoffman, 2000). This is especially true for the less
culturally and economically advantaged groups in US cities (Massey & Denton, 1996;
Dreier et al., 2001). Although the rhetoric of urban redevelopment suggests inclusive
intentions, whereas entire communities are the beneficiaries of an urban
redevelopment scheme, more often, the reality is that proponents of economic policy
for private market capital gain and high income households, are the primary
recipients of such land reuse efforts (Fainstein, 2001).
Affordable housing options and opportunities for Denvers low income and
minority populations within Stapleton is compared to social equity criteria one and
two, which were created from the literature in this dissertation to measure social
equity. The social equity criteria created for this dissertation represents the converse
response to gentrification and residential segregation in urban settings (Briggs, 2006;
Dreier et.al, 2001; Logan, 2002). They are used to determine the extent in which
Stapletons environment reflects an environment that is different from those
environments that have created barriers to low income and minority group inclusion.
These comparisons can direct us to the potential residents of Stapleton's housing.
Criteria constructed from the literature presents conditions in which address and
72


compare real opportunities for access to affordable housing for minority and low-
income populations.
1. Criterion One: Ensure opportunities for minorities and low income (at or
below 80% AMI) households to live in the urban redeveloped area
2. Criterion Two: Ensure that a rental and home ownership scheme is
provided that affords minorities and low-income residents (at or below
80% AMI) an opportunity to acquire wealth within the redevelopment site.
Criteria One is meant to first draw attention to the historic influence of race
and ethnicity on housing patterns in the US and accompanying income distribution
related to these patterns. It then attempts to draw attention to issues related to
renegotiating the relationship between developed space and a transforming
landscape to acknowledge that a transforming landscape has historic narratives that
underline new narratives, which are often overlooked or whose meaning is
underestimated. Criteria Two builds on social and economic historic and new
relationships within a transforming landscape. It is specifically concerned with the
outcome of new narratives on redefining the function and future of urban landscapes
through housing, location, type, and price.
Adjacent to the Stapleton development site are Park Hill neighborhoods
North, Northeast, South, and Montbello. Opportunities for affordable housing are
compared across these neighborhoods to Stapleton. Although demographic data is
not yet available for Stapleton, descriptive data based on the real conditions of these
groups in comparison to real opportunities available to them within the Stapleton site
73


provides valuable insight toward constructing socially equitable spatial arrangements
using the built environment.26
Findings and Analysis
Housing Race and Ethnicity
The frequently cited work of Massey and Denton (1996), emphasized aspects
of urban displacement specific to race and ethnic residential segregation in American
cities (Adelman, 2005; Danziger, 1996; Iceland et al., 2005; Small & Newman, 2001).
Massey and Denton (1996), cite historical studies and their own work to illustrate the
degree to which race and ethnicity are used to separate communities and create an
unequal opportunity structure using the built environment to privilege non-minority
groups. Residential segregation is a means by which non-minority populations
separate themselves from minority households. This practice creates barriers to
inclusion in the American opportunity structure for minority populations, especially
African Americans and Hispanic immigrants (Massey & Denton, 1996). The authors
explain that barriers to spatial mobility are barriers to social mobility (p. 14). One of
the main ways that a persons life chances can improve in the US is directly tied to
upward mobility through housing and neighborhood location. Moving into
neighborhoods that have higher home values, safer streets, good schools, and better
servies increases individuals quality of life and the life of their children (p. 14). The
authors construct dissimilarity indices demonstrating that the extent of residential
bias on the part of non- minorities is high and it is greater toward African Americans
than any other race or ethnic group in the US (Massey & Denton, 1996, p. 21-23).27
This dissertation study identified similar results regarding residential patterns in
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Denver and its metropolitan area. In neighborhoods prdominatly occupied by African
Americans, goods and services were minimal (food stores, public amenities, and
schools). Dissimilarity indices were created in the dissertationfor Denver
neighborhoods, and the metropolitan area, which includes adjacent counties of
Adams, Arapahoe, Douglas and Jefferson counties. The findings for this
measurement of racial evenness represent the percentage of non-minorities that
would have to move to a different census tract in order to create evenness among
non-minority and minority populations. Where race and ethnicity was concerned,
residential segregation was highest for African-Americans. In this case, whites were
used as the reference population due to their current numeric majority position in this
region. Segregation values were higher between Blacks and Whites than between
Whites and Hispanics in 1990 and 2000, regardless of the income status of the
group (see Table 4.1 and Figure 4.1). Residential segregation in the Denver
metropolitan area was greater than in the city. Therefore, the social equity described
in the SDP conceptualizes new patterns of spatial behavior that counter exclusion.
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Table 4.1
Dissimilarity index for Denver and metropolitan area counties in 1990 and 2004.
City of All Poor Households Mid-income Affluent
Denver Households Households Households
Segregation of one group from another
White from 1990 2000 1990 2000 1990 2000 1990 2000
Black 63 70.6 63 73.4 63.1 74.1 65.1 77.6
Denver All Poor Households Mid-income Affluent
Metropolitan Households Households Households
Area
Segregation of one group from another
White from 1990 2000 1990 2000 1990 2000 1990 2000
Black 64 63.1 62.27 66.72 66.7 66.45 70.56 69.72
Source: Joint Initiative in Spatial Structures in the Social Sciences: Brown University and the
University of Albany, Mumford Center.
Although Denver has a small percentage of African Americans (10.8%), the
majority of this group lives in the Northeast portion of the county. These
predominantly African American and Hispanic neighborhoods are adjacent to
Stapleton.
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Back
1-210
211-560
551-1444
1445-2445
2446-3807
berKer 2000 CensusTract Baxtaries
Figure 4.1 Denver County Population by African Americans
Consequently, racial patterns in these areas of the city may reflect segregation or at
least reflect limited integration throughout this city. The dissertation study included
interviews with residents of the Park Hill area to capture the experience of those
living adjacent to Stapleton. Such experiences reflect how Stapleton is truly
perceived as representative of all area residents as the SDP implies. One of my
interviewees, a Park Hill resident, remarked on the historic racial divisiveness that
influenced accessibility and affordability for African Americans in this area. In
response to the question What influence do you see Stapleton having on the Park
Hill neighborhoods; a former member of the Denver Civil Rights Commission
revealed that the majority of Park Hill neighborhoods were not always majority
African-American. Before 1960 African-Americans were not often found east of
Colorado Boulevard due to redlining and other mechanisms of segregation.28
However, in the 1960s the United States Air Force relocated its finance center from
St. Louis to Park Hill. Many of these employees were African Americans. These
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employees, desiring to live close to their place of work, had problems locating
housing. Therefore, the Air Force joined local anti-discrimination organizations in a
push to desegregate Park Hill. Once the desegregation of Park Hill began; white
businesses, including supermarkets, left Park Hill, which reduced the amount of
goods and services in the area and limited access to such resources for those
without a reliable means of transportation. Consequently, affordable housing,
shopping, recreation, and services were out of reach in the community. Reflecting on
this experience, the interviewee was concerned that accessibility to Stapletons
resources would be challenging. However, he was hopeful for the future of African
American residents in the area because Park Hill now has a supermarket and
shopping center after more than 30 years without such amenities.
The oppressive nature of residential segregation relates to the politics of
difference (inclusive representation of all groups by institutions of power). In this
case, there is a lack of institutional and ideological recognition of diverse cultures
(Young, 1990). A lack of such recognition legitimates biases toward an entire
population, using the built environment as a tool to create barriers to inclusion. It is
this fabricated social difference that is used politically and economically to divide
communities and encourage the production and reproduction of particular
relationships of power.
Income Distribution
In Denver Park Hill neighborhoods adjacent to Stapleton where race and
ethnic group populations (African American and Hispanic immigrants) were high
above 40 percent, or the majorityand economic disparity was evident. There was
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at least a $90,000 decrease in home sale prices and loan amounts between these
neighborhoods and neighborhoods that were majority non-minority in 2003 (see
Table 4.2). Additionally, in all but one case, African-Americans and Latinos received
the lowest dollar amount in loans and the highest percentage of sub prime loans (see
Tables 4.3 and 4.4). Where income and family size are concerned, the Montbello
neighborhood has the largest family size per household for neighborhoods adjacent
to Stapleton (family size 3.6) In comparison, Denver central neighborhoods, had the
smallest household family size (family size 2.2 persons per household). The average
wage per household in 2000 was $55,129 in Denver, $37,468 in Northeast Park Hill,
$58,392 in North Park Hill, $88,479 in South Park Hill and $52,142 in Montbello. The
greater the average family size means the greater the risk for financial hardship
regarding housing affordability for low-income populations. Large families mean that
household incomes must be spread futher in comparison to smaller size households.
Therfore the larger the household size the greater the greater the costs associated
with non-housing expenses that result in shelter distress when they are combined
with the cost of housing (Bratt, Stone & Hartman, 2006). Smith, A. (2002) noted that
creating a mixed income environment could reduce the influence of gentrifying
behavior, such as concentrated poverty due to increased home prices and rents.
Social problems associated with concentrated poverty (e.g., crime, unemployment,
social isolation, and neighborhood decline) can be alleviated through mixing
incomes.
Based on the median income of home purchasers in Northeast Park Hill and
Montbello; these neighborhoods appeared to be at highest risk for cost related to
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shelter distress. Characteristics of Northeast Park Hill and Montbello reveal these
neighborhoods as having the largest average family size of 2.9 and 3.6 people per
household respectively, and incomes below the AMI for a family of four, which is
$57,300.29 Subprime loan defaults placed these neighborhoods in extreme distress.
Affordable housing is a paramount issue in these neighborhoods and similar
neighborhoods across the nation. The Denver Office of Economic Development
(2006) income limits for a family of four in 2006 was $71,700 at 100% of the area
median income (AMI), and $57,300 at 80%, which is low income. In two of the four
neighborhoods adjacent to Stapleton, Northeast Park Hill and Montbello, household
incomes for a family of four are below 80%. Since the majority of households in the
neighborhoods adjacent to Stapleton are single family dwellings and household
incomes are below AMI in two neighborhoods, it will be important to provide
affordable housing at Stapleton to reduce the chance of displacement and other
forms of gentrification.
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Table 4.2
Average home sale price in 2003
Neighborhood Average Home Sale Price
Denver $278,024
Northeast Park Hill* $189,562
North Park Hill $258,334
South Park Hill $388,289
Montbello $186,476
Stapleton $351,167
Source'. Piton Foundation Community Facts (Retrieved 2007)
*At risk neighborhood refers to percentage in poverty in 2000 but not in 1990. Piton Foundation (2004)
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Table 4.3
Average loan amount of home purchaser in 2003
Denver $203,763
Northeast Park Hill* $164,923
North Park Hill $195,796
South Park Hill $282,362
Montbello $171,675
Stapleton 250,544
Source: Piton Foundation: Community^acts. (Retrieved 2007)
Note: Piton Foundation defines the Average Loan Amount for Home Purchasers.as the average loan
amount for all individuals who applied for, were approved, and accepted home loans for the purchase of
an owner-occupied home. Note 1: Data is reported in 2006 dollars. Note 2: Owner-occupied homes
include single-family homes and homes in buildings with 2 to 4 units.
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Table 4.4
Percent sub prime loan in 2003 by race and ethnicity
Sub Prime loan percentages Black Latino White
Denver 26.9% 16.9% 9.24%
Northeast Park Hill* 20% 11.43% 22.73%
North Park Hill 34.78% 37.5% 10.59%
South Park Hill 14.29% 0% 5.36%
Montbello 43.8% 17.19% 26.0%
Stapleton 12.5% 19.5% 2.88%
Source: Piton Foundation: Community Facts. (Retrieved 2007)
Note: Percent of accepted loan applications for an owner-occupied home that were financed through a
sub-prime lender (for all borrowers of all race and ethnicities). Sub-prime Loans are an alternative for
borrowers with bad credit or other barriers to home ownership. Sub-prime lenders charge higher fees
and interest rates. Note: Owner-occupied homes include single-family homes and homes in buildings
with 2 to 4 units.
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Table 4.5
Median income of home purchasers in 2003
Neighborhood Median income
Denver $65,400
Northeast Park Hill* $55,590
North Park Hill $77,935
South Park Hill $101,370
Montbello $53,410
Stapleton $98,100
Source: Piton Foundation: Community facts. (Retrieved 2007)
Note: The Piton Foundation defines the median income for home purchasers as the median income for
all individuals who applied for, were approved, and accepted home loans for the purchase of an owner-
occupied home. Note 1: Data is reported in 2006 dollars. Note 2: Owner-occupied homes include
single-family homes and homes in buildings with 2 to 4 units.
The evolution of gentrification in American cities continues to encroach upon
urban neighborhoods constructing barriers to housing affordability and accessibility.
The 1990s saw both home prices and jobs increase. However, job increases at the
local level as in the Denver Metropolitan area, and many metropolitan areas across
the country, grew much more rapidly in the suburbs than in the city, which escalated
the competition between municipalities already underway due to increased housing
speculation and land values. This uneven growth is especially challenging for those
employers seeking entry-level employees and the potential employees, who may fill
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these jobs and who often live in the city. By the year 2000, two out of three Denver
residents who worked in the suburbs lived in the city (Piton Foundation, 2004).
Although many jobs in this city were high wage, inflation was also high.30 Those
households at the modest end of the wage structure saw fewer gains, as land values
and other costs for resources increased with the economic tide. Even with the strong
increase in wages in the surrounding metropolitan area, more than half of Denver
workers earned less than 200% of poverty in 2000, which is about $28,000 for a
family of three. Additionally, three quarters of Denver residents earned less than
what is called the self-sufficiency standard or about $40,000 for a family of three. The
self-sufficiency standard is a localized measure of the income needed to meet the
basic needs of a family without public or private assistance (Piton Foundation, 2004).
Mixed income housing could alleviate the need for public assistance and create
opportunities for working class families to pursue a better quality of life through
affordable housing options (Calthrope & Fulton, 2001). Stapletons mixed income
and mixed-use urban form suggests such an urban design scheme.
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Table 4.6
Workforce shelter burden by occupation
Occupation Annual btcome (2002) Monthly Housing Alowance Affordable Purchase Price %of Median Price ($210,000) Afford- able Rent %of Average Rent ($730)
Retail Sales Person $24,918 1 $623 1 $63,111 1 307. $548 697
Truck Driver $34,445 1 $861 1 $102,774 1 497 $786 997
School Teacher $35,780 $320 $112,496 547 $845., 1067
Firefghter $46,946 - $U74 . $154,820 . 747 $1099 1387
Police Qffcer $48227 j $1207 j $160,362 j 767 $1,132 1427
Registered Nurse $50,398 ! $1260 ! $169,196 j 817 $1,185 1497
Source: Denver Office of Economic Development (2004)
Additionally, when discussing housing affordability, the cost of running a
household is not considered by many policy makers, therefore, issues such as
childcare, food, and utilities go unresolved, increasing hardships for the less
advantaged (Stone, 2006). The cost of shelter is a greater burden for minority groups
than it is for non-minority populations. This dissertation study found that sub prime
lending was highest among African-Americans, with Latinos as the next group.
Relationships of power between non-minority and minority populations manifest in
space through residential segregation and gentrification by creating barriers to
accessibility and affordability. Minority and low-income groups are displaced and
replaced to make way for higher income and non-minority groups in order to increase
investment capital and maintain power (Lipsitz, 1995). The reproduction of high-
income groups ensures the production of investment capital gain for private sector
and local government partnerships (Smith, N 2007). This increases investment
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capital profit at the expense of decreasing the quality of life for the working-class
families through decreasing affordability and accessibility (Smith, N. 2007).
Denver Park Hill Housing: Income, Race, and Ethnicity
Race, ethnic, and low-income populations face the greatest challenges to
social and spatial equity within the urban built environment. Alternatives to the
economic policies that encourage gentrification and social exclusion are needed to
circumvent barriers to a successful quality of life for these historically diverse urban
narratives if inclusion is to occur (Pendall, Nelson, Dawkins, & Knapp, 2005).31 The
SDP states social equity as a guiding principle, which will, in theory, address many of
the issues regarding residential segregation and gentrification formally discussed in
this dissertation study. This dissertation study examined the effectiveness of the SDP
to address spatial issues that impact social inequalities through affordability and
access using the built environment. It examined these inequalities through the lens of
spatial social equity criteria created from the relevant literature on these conditions
(see Table 3). The housing profile of Denver Park Hill neighborhoods by race,
ethnicity, and income provided the context to understand the conceptual reasoning
behind Stapleton's social equity guidelines as policy and its implementation, as well
as outcomes of such policy processes and who is served. Social equity criteria one
and two address what social equity would look like for the population who live in this
development area and on the site if social equity were addressed. Therefore, the
tools and practices employed to define the Stapleton environment, and for social and
economic populations, also describe how the urban context in which the
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development is constructed will be used. Mixed-use neighborhoods vary among a
menu of opportunities that improve the standard of living for low-income populations.
Stapleton employs a broad array of housing types that can advantage diverse users
as suggested by Calthrope and Fulton (2001). Additionally, tools and practices in
urban planning that support sustainable development are put in place at Stapleton
and include compact urban form, which encourages a pedestrian-friendly
environment by reducing the need for a car to access goods and services (Wheeler,
2000). Likewise, this form of development can increase opportunities to narrow the
gap between disadvantaged and more well -off populations through overall
accessibility (Wrigley, 2002).
Rental and Home Ownership
Criterion One established that historic narratives regarding housing
patterns where race, ethnicity, and income are concerned, disadvantage the less
well off. If transforming the urban landscape means providing greater opportunities
for the less advantaged to participate, then a better new narrative must have depth
and weight. This dissertation argues that there must be strategies for inclusion and
measureable outcomes rather than rhetoric that claims to understand the history.
Criterion Two is specifically concerned with the outcome of new narratives that
redefine the function and future of an urban landscape through housing type, price
and location.
The Stapleton Redevelopment Plan (SDP) specifically uses language that
addresses such disparities. It uses the term social equity to imply inclusion.
Economic and cultural diversity are specifically stated and imply that the
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development will address the disparities articulated in Criteria One and Two through
spatial inclusion of minority and low-income households in its built environment. This
commitment is accomplished through a mixed use residential and commercial-retail
design and planning scheme that includes affordable housing. The Stapleton
Affordable Housing Plan (SAHP) (2001) was implemented to conform to the
conceptualization of inclusion put forth in the SDP. The SAHP describes a
commitment to produce 1600 affordable housing units spread throughout the entire
development. Approximately 13% of the 12,000 homes to be constructed by build out
will be affordable to those households earning 80% or below the AMI (p. 1). Of the
12,000 projected homes, 8,000 are targeted as for sale and, of this amount, 10% or
800 homes are to be set aside as affordable housing. Of the 4000 rental units to be
constructed on the site, 20% or 800 units are to be set aside as affordable housing.
Affordable for sale units do not currently (at the time of this study) include detached
single-family homes. These affordable units are two-story town homes,
condominiums, and row houses that consist of various styles and floor plans. Prices
begin in the low $100s. The Affordable Housing Plan (AHP) stipulates that affordable
housing shall be disbursed throughout the development, north and south of
Interstate I-70, which is north of the district examined for this study. Comparing the
housing options at Stapleton to the housing opportunities available in adjacent
neighborhoods for working class minority and low-income groups, Stapleton provides
options for these populations through various multifamily housing styles.
The site selected for this case study is the first district developed for mixed
use residential and commercial-retail occupancy and therefore specifically
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addresses affordable housing in this location. In this district, there are three
affordable housing-rental projects completed as of this writing. These units range
from low to very low (30 to 50% of the AMI) income household affordability. All
affordable housing in this district is located at the edges of the site. Although it is
stated that affordable housing will be located near public transportation routes,
Stapleton is home to a very busy public transportation station with an adjacent park
and ride. This is the parking structure used by the former airport. Dozens of buses
travel through this structure each day. Therefore those from households that do not
have vehicles and especially those who cannot afford vehicles, have easy access to
public transportation. However, it is noted in the SAHP (2001) that this scenario may
not be possible in all situations, and that in fact, some projects on the site may not
have any affordable housing units for sale or rent. Affordable housing will be built at
a pace comparable to market rate, but not necessarily at each building phase
(SAHP, 2001). The following is an overview of the affordable housing currently
available in the study site, accompanied by brief descriptions, and concludes with
definitions and affordable housing tenure options. This section provides a visual
representation of the Stapleton environment. It depicts how the conceptualization of
social equity as described in the SDP and its subsequent affordable housing
strategy.
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Affordable For Sale Housing 2007
Figure 4.2. Stapleton 29th Street Row Homes
Currently (2007) builders providing affordable for sale housing at Stapleton
are New Town Builders, Mercy Housing and Northeast Denver Housing. The 29th
Drive row homes offer one-, two-, and three-bedroom homes from 807sf to 1463sf
and offer one, one-and-one half, and two-and-one half bathrooms. These homes are
priced in the 120s.
Figure 4.3 Stapleton Syracuse Villages
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Syracuse Village offers two- bedroom homes from 798 sf to 824 sf, with one
accompanying bathroom in either of the two models. These homes are priced in the
high 80s. Each homebuilder is discussed on the Stapleton website; which also
includes income qualification information and a direct link to the builders web site.
Table 4.7
Affordable Rental Housing at Clyburn Street 2007
Rents per month $710-$890
Size
300 to 852 square feet
Units available Number of units available
1 BR 51
2 BR 49
3 BR 0
Total affordable units 100
Figure 4.4 Stapleton Clyburn Village
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Clyburn Street Apartments are at the south edge of the development facing the Fred
Thomas Park directly to the west. The apartments are one block east of Quebec
Street and approximately two blocks from the supermarket. The location is also
conveniently located near public transpiration. Adjacent to the apartments, to the
east are multi family units. Apartments at the Clyburn start at below 60% of the AMI
for one- and two-bedrooms in comparison to Denvers affordable housing rates.
Table 4.8
Parkside Rental Units
Parkside Mercy Housing Rents from $300 per month 600 to 1,145 square feet
1 BR 18
2 BR 38
3 BR 12
Total affordable units 68
Figure 4.5 Stapleton Mercy Homes
During an interview with a resident at Mercy homes in Stapleton, the resident
explained that there was a two-year waiting list. She was able to get in by subletting
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from a friend who was moving out. Her apartment was small, yet comfortable. The
interviewee was a single mom and college student studying to become a pharmacist.
These apartments are at the south edge of the development facing Syracuse
Street and the east side of Fred Thomas Park. They are located two blocks from the
nearest bus stop and approximately four to five blocks from the supermarket.
According to the work of Massey and Denton (1996), the location and quality of this
housing environment can add accessibility to the social and economic opportunity
structure for low-income and minority populations.
Figure 4.6 Stapleton Central Park Apartments
Central Park is the latest addition to Stapletons affordable housing stock.
The structure was built in late 2007 and has 18 units available at 30 to 50% of the
AMI. During an interview with a member of Stapletons management personnel, it
was mentioned that market rate housing residents at Stapleton who lived near
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Central Park apartments complained that the units would bring additional traffic and
noise to the neighborhood. The informant deduced that residents did not want low-
income households on the site or at least (not in their back yard).
Stapletons Affordable Housing Definitions (SAHP, 2001)
1. Affordable Housing refers to affordable rental and workforce housing.
2. Workforce Housing refers to for sale housing available to households earning
80% and below the AMI-MFI. This housing is set aside for owner occupancy
only and is located within mixed income locations (i.e., at least 10% of
Stapletons housing).
3. Affordable Rental Housing refers to rentals affordable to households earning
60% and below the AMI-MFI including very low-income households (i.e.,at
least 20% of Stapletons rental housing).
4. Median Family Income (MFI) refers to the most current median family income
for the Denver metropolitan area. This is also known as the area median
income (AMI). It is important to note that the Denver metropolitan area
income is higher than the median income of the city of Denver proper(US
Census, 2000).
5. Very Low Income Housing refers to households earning 50% and below the
AMI-MFI.
The goals discussed in Criteria One and Two are to decrease residential segregation
and gentrification and increase opportunities to build wealth through legitimate
mechanisms for home occupancy and ownership on the Stapleton site. This means
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that there are tools and practices in place to limit the exploitation of minority and low-
income groups through the illusion of affordability and access where in reality, these
opportunities are limited.
Tenure
A regulatory process protects housing tenure at Stapleton regarding affordable units.
This process is one way to maintain long-term opportunities for low-income
residency.
1. Affordable housing units produced to fulfill the requirement of the SAHP,
(2001) are subject to a deed restriction or other mutually agreeable
mechanisms guaranteeing long-term affordability of the unit. The long-
term affordability in this case refers to the purchase and sale of the unit
and every other time, the unit is sold for a period of at least 30 years from
the date of the initial sale.
2. Where rental properties are concerned, long-term affordability means that
the rent charged to any tenant shall always meet the requirements were
affordability set forth in the plan for at least 30 years from the date of the
unit initial lease. Once the unit has reached affordability maturation, there
is a one-year grace period attached to the unit to enable a current
resident to transition to other housing.
3. The developer has requirements for the number of s on their housing
affordability units: at least 15% of the units shall have three bedrooms or
more, no more than 35% of the units shall have one-bedroom and no
more than 10% shall be studio apartments. Additionally, not more than
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35% of affordable rental housing, shall be housing for independent
seniors.
Overall, the SAHP (2001) is straightforward. It describes the role of the
master developer, the city, and potential renters and homeowners of affordable
properties. This study determined that Criterion One and Two are currently being
met. Although the amount of affordable housing is limited, it does address low-
income and perhaps minorities by default. Yet, the income mix primarily serves those
households that are able to afford market rate. There are a variety of housing tenure
options. Smith, A. (2002) refers to the mixed income model used at Stapleton as low-
income inclusion. In this case, a majority of housing units are market rate; yet include
affordable housing that reaches very low-income households. Additionally, this
model has very limited affordable for sale housing units, however the units are very
high quality, since market rate housing is present in great numbers. Including
affordable housing in small numbers attracts higher income households and at the
same time assuages community and investor concerns about affordable housing
inclusion. The findings imply that the reality of such a model is to reproduce high
income households and continue a historic narrative, which subordinates public
social policy and social responsibility to that of private investor economic expansion
and therefore piecemeal change at the expense of the less advantaged. The model
perpetuates a division among these divergent household types and the
neighborhoods. The lack of affordable, detached single-family homes draws attention
to the economic and therefore social role constructed using the built environment.
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Policy regarding the built environment can be effective at providing access to
affordable housing, goods and services for low-income and minority populations
(Levy, Comey, & Padilla, 2006; Massey & Denton, 1996). However, the extent to
which social equity is created at Stapleton lacks the appropriate opportunities to
construct fair or just economic and social integration based on population, income,
and market tenure options currently available in the study area. Additional options
could remove barriers to inclusion that have been identified. Options such as land
trusts and community development corporation partnerships may help to provide
incentives to for-profit developers to construct greater percentages of affordable
housing in residential and commercial-retail mixed use development. This research
concludes that competition between nonprofit and for profit developers can
encourage socially responsible access and affordability were such specificity is
present. During an interview, an informant revealed that the authors of the Stapleton
development plan specifically placed covenants and design reviews on the land and
constructed this housing policy to ensure equity would occur using the built
environment. By determining upfront how Stapleton would provide affordability
through inclusion using the built environment, these mechanisms have created much
more than had affordability been a voluntary inclusion for developers (Dreier et.al.,
2001). It was also explained that the master developer initially did not wish to provide
affordable housing on the site; however, affordable housing opportunities were made
a mandatory part of the plan, which indicates cultural and economic representative
decision-making. This decision was made during the conceptualization process by
the design management team prior to the City of Denver's Inclusionary Housing
98