Urban redevelopment and grassroots action in Chicago and Sheffield: themes, variations and uncertain legacies


In the Uptown area of Chicago and Sheffield, England’s Sharrow neighborhood, redevelopment initiatives in the late 1960s and early 1970s produced a significant degree of community conflict. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s a variety of grassroots movements appeared in each community. The legacy of redevelopment‐derived conflict and community‐based organizing in the two communities suggests that there is more variation in neighborhood grassroots politics — even in communities with comparable public policy and organizing histories — than prevailing explanations of neighborhood mobilization tend to acknowledge. However, with the 1990s a convergence in the Uptown and Sharrow experiences has appeared: the narrowing of their grassroots organizations’ political agendas, which can be attributed to national shifts in political discourse and public policy.