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Dangerous or Endangered?Race and the Politics of Youth in Urban America$
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Jennifer Tilton

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780814783115

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814783115.001.0001

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Potential Thugs and Gangsters

Potential Thugs and Gangsters

Youth and the Spatial Politics of Urban Redevelopment

(p.153) 4 Potential Thugs and Gangsters
Dangerous or Endangered?

Jennifer Tilton

NYU Press

This chapter examines Oakland's urban redevelopment from a citywide perspective, with particular emphasis on the relationship between the politics of youth and the spatial politics of urban redevelopment. It begins with an overview of MacArthur Boulevard, a main thoroughfare that reflects Oakland's problematic and incomplete transformation from a landscape of production to a landscape of consumption and the contradictory role young people have played in this process. It cites the Eastmont Mall as a symbol of the city's troubled efforts to reinvent itself in the wake of deindustrialization and suburbanization. It also considers Oakland's economic development investments to redesign streetscapes in hopes of creating distinctive neighborhood commercial centers. Finally, it shows the emergence of a privatized urban space characteristic of many neoliberal cities as a result of new landscapes of childhood and community activists' efforts to save children.

Keywords:   urban redevelopment, politics of youth, spatial politics, MacArthur Boulevard, Oakland, young people, suburbanization, commercial centers, childhood, community activists

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