Film: 21st Century Urban Renewal

Posted by on June 17, 2005

Near 45th & Regent (between Chester & Kingsessing)in Clark Park

Wednesday, June 29, 8 PM or dusk:

“All for the Taking: 21st Century Urban Renewal”
A Documentary Produced and Directed by George McCollough, Co-produced by Joy Butts & Sara Leavitt

All for the Taking is a case study of how an American city struggles to redefine itself through urban renewal in the face of a growing global economy – an economy that undermines the value of labor, the local economy, and the sense of community that was once the core of urban America.

On April 18, 2001, the City of Philadelphia announced the arrival of the Neighborhood Transformation Initiative (NTI) ? the most ambitious urban renewal project in its history. With a projected budget of $1.6 billion over five years, NTI is designed to reverse a 50-year pattern of population decline, brought about in-part by the City’s first wave of urban renewal. Through “eminent domain,” a process that gives a government the right to acquire private property for public use, the City has authorized the seizure of thousands of homes, to create a massive land bank to entice private developers to rebuild some of its most historic neighborhoods. Using the vaguely defined public purpose of eminent domain developers across the country have convinced governments to seize land that they desire. Governments are gladly using their authority with the hope of generating greater tax revenues. This has lead to a nationwide epidemic of eminent domain abuse to occur.

Overlooked in the process of urban renewal are lifelong community residents who are often elderly, poor and of color. These residents are unaware of their rights and have become confused and scared of the forces that are changing their neighborhoods and disrupting their lives.

This film documents the personal stories of residents impacted by Philadelphia’s urban renewal program and of housing activists fighting eminent domain abuse. Also featured in the film are Mindy Fullilove, MD Professor of Clinical Psychiatry and Clinical Public Health, Columbia University and author of “Root Shock: How Tearing Up City Neighborhoods Hurts America and What We Can Do About It” and Scott Bullock, senior attorney who litigates property rights and free speech cases for the Institute for Justice in Washington D.C.

58 minutes

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