Read in this order: from Sidewalk (and the whole book is uploaded, so use the table of contents to help yourself navigate) read “How Sixth Avenue Became a Sustaining Habitat (begins on pg 115),” “Sidewalk Sleeping (begins on pg 157),” and “The Space Wars: Competing Legalities (Begins on pg 231),” then read Chronopoulos’s chapter “The Radicalization of Spatial Regulation”. You no longer need to watch the video (which was originally on the syllabus). Chronopoulos’s chapter is upside down–just rotate accordingly.
After reading the aforementioned, answer the following:
How did the homeless men in Sidewalk try to create a semblance of stability in their livesparticularly in maintaining an income and sustainable habitat? What methods were used by city authorities and business elites to eradicate the public spaces in which New Yorks most destitute struggled to survive? Finally, how did the Giuliani administration operate in its drive to lower crime rates and remove the Big Apples image of disorderliness, and who were most affected?
BTW–“Broken windows” policing theorized that by removing images of disorderliness and petty crime, larger (and more violent) crimes could be eliminated. The theory rested on this tenet: if a window is left broken in a given neighborhood, it is not only disorderly, but attracts outside criminals who believe crime will be tolerated–thus, if the window, or disorder, is repaired, then criminals will know to go elsewhere. While it sounds practical, when applied to society, it meant that homeless men and other destitute individuals were reconceptualized as “broken windows”–as objects of disorder that needed to be swept away (but if you’re homeless, where do you go: don’t you have the right to be in public?). During the 1980s and 1990s, as neoliberal and neoconservative agendas reigned in NYC and much of the nation, homeless populations swelled, particularly in cities like New York. This was also a time in which mayoral administrations struggled to craft a new image for the Big Apple (one away from its image of fiscal/urban crisis). Caught up in this fight to “clean up the city” were those in abject poverty.