Urban Development Legislation for Cities, by Cities
Thank you so much for inviting me to speak as part of this symposium. It is a great honor to be here in the company of such distinguished speakers to learn about the impressive legacy of Senator Muskie. My presentation today connects the legacy of Senator Muskie, and specifically, his work on urban development and Model Cities, to contemporary urban development legislation. Thus, this presentation picks up where my co-panelist, Don Nicoll, left off, by considering how the Model Cities legacy is both a foundation of and a counterpoint to contemporary urban development policies and programs. While urban development legislation can come from any level of government, some of the most innovative legislative responses to the challenges faced by cities today are being crafted by local governments themselves. Everyone here can probably think of examples of urban development legislation from their own city, whether it’s Detroit addressing abandoned and vacant housing through a blight reduction plan; Seattle passing a living wage ordinance that will help accommodate the high cost of living in that city; San Francisco promoting community health through urban agriculture zoning; or New Orleans redeveloping public housing in the Treme by integrating subsidized and market-priced housing in a mixed-use development.