Well-researched and fascinating, HOW TO KILL A CITY is a look at gentrification in the heart of four cities: New Orleans, Detroit, San Francisco, and New York. It counters the narrative that gentrification is "natural", looking at city and state zoning and housing policies and regulations that allow gentrification, inequality, and displacement to flourish. Arguing that in order to counter gentrification we need to restructure these racist and classist policies. — From Amy's Picks
A journey to the front lines of the battle for the future of American cities, uncovering the massive, systemic forces behind gentrification -- and the lives that are altered in the process.
The term gentrification has become a buzzword to describe the changes in urban neighborhoods across the country, but we don't realize just how threatening it is. It means more than the arrival of trendy shops, much-maligned hipsters, and expensive lattes. The very future of American cities as vibrant, equitable spaces hangs in the balance.
Peter Moskowitz's How to Kill a City takes readers from the kitchen tables of hurting families who can no longer afford their homes to the corporate boardrooms and political backrooms where destructive housing policies are devised. Along the way, Moskowitz uncovers the massive, systemic forces behind gentrification in New Orleans, Detroit, San Francisco, and New York. The deceptively simple question of who can and cannot afford to pay the rent goes to the heart of America's crises of race and inequality. In the fight for economic opportunity and racial justice, nothing could be more important than housing.
A vigorous, hard-hitting expose, How to Kill a City reveals who holds power in our cities-and how we can get it back.
About the Author
P. E. Moskowitz is the author of How to Kill a City. A former staff writer for Al Jazeera America, they have written for publications including the Guardian, New York Times, NewYorker.com, New Republic, Wired, Slate, Buzzfeed, Splinter, and Vice. A graduate of Hampshire College and the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, they live in New Orleans.
"[An] exacting look at gentrification in New Orleans, Detroit, San Francisco and New York, exposing how large institutions-goverments, businesses, foundations-influence street-level processes that might appear as organic as the coffee shop's dark roast. ... How to Kill a City elucidates the complex interplay between the forces we control and those that control us."—New York Times Book Review
"How to Kill a City is a convincing and persuasive argument that the U.S. has a serious problem with affordable housing that is not going away any time soon."—Booklist
"When it comes to housing and urban development, as with other aspects of American life, Moskowitz makes clear that the heft of one's purse and the color of one's skin are determinative. How to Kill a City is an indictment of a system that places making a home for capital above making homes for people."—Santa Barbara Independent