Palaces for the People: How Social Infrastructure Can Help Fight Inequality, Polarization, and the Decline of Civic Life

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Englewood, in Chicago, had a rough time during the recession. Already facing a high poverty rate and decades of municipal neglect, the neighborhood saw dozens of foreclosures, leaving streets pockmarked with boarded-up houses and vacant lots. Violence spiked. Older people feared leaving their homes. In 2009, though, something changed: a community group turned one of those vacant lots into a farm. Soon, people began to congregate there. They started a farmer's market and cooking classes, bringing an affordable source of ...

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