March 2018


«Architecton: proceedings of higher education» № 52 December 2015

Theory of architecture

Kiyanenko Konstantin V.

Doctor of Architecture,
Professor, Department of Architecture and Urban Planning
Vologda State University
Vologda, Russia, e-mail: design@mh.vstu.edu.ru


The article considers the neighbourhood of Brownsville built up in the mid-20th century in Brooklyn, New York City, and two of its housing projects, Brownsville Houses and Van Dyke, with the aim of investigating relationships between some influential ideas of public housing architecture and planning, public housing transformation into slums (slumization) and revitalization strategies. A review of literary sources, sociological studies, personal observations and surveys carried out by the author on site has shown the following. The «superblock» and «tower-in-the-park» planning concepts create a socially negative context for low income populations. Dense housing is more comfortable and safer where it is formed from mid-rise buildings with a high land-to-building ratio rather than multi-storeyed buildings with a low ratio. Subsidised public housing developments often prove to be the only remaining shelter economically affordable for low-income households, and it is therefore preferable to revitalize them instead of tearing down. Gentrification ("diluting" low income households among more affluent ones) does not seem to work in this case; there is more promise in their re-planning and social upgrade.

Key words: US public housing, slums, revitalization neighbourhoods


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Russian text of this article

ISSN 1990-4126  Registration MCM el. № ФС 77-70832 of 30.08.2017 © USUAA, 2004-2017  © Architecton, 2004-2017