1st Edition

Capital Dilemma Growth and Inequality in Washington, D.C.

Edited By Derek Hyra, Sabiyha Prince Copyright 2016
    380 Pages 20 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    380 Pages 20 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Capital Dilemma: Growth and Inequality in Washington, DC uncovers and explains the dynamics that have influenced the contemporary economic advancement of Washington, DC. This volume’s unique interdisciplinary approach using historical, sociological, anthropological, economic, geographic, political, and linguistic theories and approaches, captures the comprehensive factors related to changes taking place in one of the world’s most important cities.

    Capital Dilemma clarifies how preexisting urban social hierarchies, established mainly along race and class lines but also along national and local interests, are linked with the city’s contemporary inequitable growth. While accounting for historic disparities, this book reveals how more recent federal and city political decisions and circumstances shape contemporary neighborhood gentrification patterns, highlighting the layered complexities of the modern national capital and connecting these considerations to Washington, DC’s past as well as to more recent policy choices.

    As we enter a period where advanced service sector cities prosper, Washington, DC’s changing landscape illustrates important processes and outcomes critical to other US cities and national capitals throughout the world. The Capital Dilemma for DC, and other major cities, is how to produce sustainable equitable economic growth. This volume expands our understanding of the contradictions, challenges and opportunities associated with contemporary urban development.

    Section One: The Historical, Political and Economic Contexts of Urban Shifts Chapter 1: Private Revitalization and Gentrification in Twentieth Century Washington, DC Chapter 2: How Government Policy affects Inequality: An Analysis of Inequality in Washington, DC, through Census Data, 1960-2010 Chapter 3: Situating Entrepreneurial Place-making in DC: Business Improvement Districts and Urban (Re) Development in Washington, DC Chapter 4: Demolishing Barry Farm: Ideology, Policy and the Emergence and Dissolution of a Racialized Urban Ghetto in Washington, DC Chapter 5: Representations of Change Chapter 6: Anchoring a Federal Agency in a Washington DC Community: The Department of Homeland Security Chapter 7: The Implementation of the Model Cities Program in Washington, DC Chapter 8: Exceptionalism and the National Capital in late 20th c. Washington and Paris Chapter 9: The New Urban Renewal: Gentrification and the Politics of Displacement in Washington, DC Chapter 10: Federal Spending Fuels the Washington Region’s New Economy Chapter 11: Budget Growth in the District, 1999- 2013 Section Two: The Grassroots Impacts of Urban Shifts Chapter 12: Trends and Determinants of Bicycling in Washington DC Chapter 13: Seeking Elegba at the Crossroads: Pan-African Identity in a Changing City Chapter 14: A Tale of Two Theaters: The Implications of Redevelopment and Gentrification on Community Anchors and Identity in U Street/Shaw Chapter 15: Changing Neighborhoods, Changing Communities: Managed Redevelopment in Columbia Heights Chapter 16: Tenants Take Over Connecting DC to Johannesburg: Washington InnerCity Self Help Goes to South Africa Chapter 17: On the Waterfront


    Derek Hyra is associate professor in the Department of Public Administration and Policy and director of the Metropolitan Policy Center at American University. His research focuses on processes of neighborhood change, with an emphasis on housing, urban politics, and race. Dr. Hyra is the author of The New Urban Renewal: The Economic Transformation of Harlem and Bronzeville (University of Chicago Press 2008) and recently completed his second book, Making the Gilded Ghetto: Race, Class, and Politics in the Cappuccino City (University of Chicago Press Forthcoming), which investigates the redevelopment of Washington, DC’s Shaw/U Street neighborhood. He received his BA from Colgate University and his PhD from the University of Chicago.

    Sabiyha Prince is a Researcher and Data Analyst for Houses of Worship and the Environment at the Anacostia Community Museum. She earned her Ph.D in Anthropology from the CUNY Graduate Center and has held teaching positions at American University, St. Mary’s College of Maryland, and Coppin State University. She is the author of Constructing Belonging: Class, Race, and Harlem’s Professional Workers (Routledge 2004) and of African Americans and Gentrification in Washington, DC: Race, Class, and Social Justice in the Nation’s Capital (Ashgate 2014).

    "In 2011, as the economy of Washington DC was booming, its black population slipped below 50%. This is the “capital dilemma” explored in this fascinating book. Astute analysis, lively writing and deep concern for human survival characterize this superb set of essays. Elegantly conceived to cover the complexity of the urban landscape, the chapters dovetail neatly to stimulate our thinking and push our questions. This is a terrific book and students of history, American cities, race relations and economic development will all find it a great asset." - Mindy Thompson Fullilove, Columbia University

    "Washington, D.C. is one of the world’s great cities; it is also one of the youngest. This combination makes it a fertile laboratory for researching how cities develop economically, socially, and politically during periods of rapid change. The scope of Capital Dilemma and the depth of the research it reports makes this book a foundational read for anyone interested in better understanding how today’s cities might better interrelate their past and current growth patterns with their growth potentials to achieve a stronger and more balanced and viable social and political framework for the future.

    Derek Hyra and Sabiyha Prince have assembled a first class stable of researchers on cities with long ties to Washington, D.C. each of whom brings the combination of their deep understanding of the City and accumulated research-based study into focus in their tightly organized chapters. By pealing back the many interdependent layers, Capital Dilemma reports out the essentials of a city’s evolution from a political creation to a dynamic, livable, multi-faceted city. Students of urban development, social change and political reform at all levels will find Capital Dilemma an intellectually enriching and important addition to the literature." - Stephen S. Fuller, George Mason University