Concentrating Poverty

Released: July 8, 2010.

JHK explores a mostly abandoned low-income housing project in Duncan’s neighborhood. Two of the three 9-story brick “vertical slums” are boarded up and abandoned. They come complete with their own “rape-o-matic” tunnel for pedestrians to travel under the bridge ramp that separates them. Kunstler says these “towers in a park” are based on the ideas of Le Corbusier, the Swiss-French architect/planner whose “Radiant City” plans envisioned turning the right bank of Paris into a series of high rise towers connected by highways. Corbu’s plans were not implemented in Paris, but his ideas didn’t die. In fact they morphed into what are commonly known as “the projects,” low-income high rise towers all around the U.S. and indeed the world. Taking inspiration by the housing projects in Troy, Kunstler explains the history of this style of low-income housing and its detrimental side effects.

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Support for the KunstlerCast comes from Post Carbon Institute, the world’s leading think tank dedicated to getting society off fossil fuels fast. PCI is proud to have James Howard Kunstler as a valued advisor–joining Richard Heinberg, Bill McKibben, Majora Carter, Rob Hopkins and 25 other Fellows in leading the transition to a more resilient world. Learn more at