Between the Lines.

The Urban Renewal Center Blog.


July 26th, 2019


Scientists build on sacred land.

Despite protests, scientists ignore Native Hawaiian’s plea to respect Mauna Kea.

Challenging Gentrification’s Displacement

New study claims the effects of neighborhood change are positive.


Scooter Hell: The Death of the Sidewalk.

Burnings, trashings, hangings- anti-scooter vigilantes appear ready to fight.


Plight of the Baltimore Squeegee Kids

How Baltimore’s youth became pawns in a racist culture war.


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From the URC Library:

Black, White, and Brown by Forrest “Hap” White.

Two movements make the 1950s in Norfolk, Virginia so remarkable: the voracious local attack upon urban blight, and the ferocious state resistance to desegregation in its public schools.


June 20th, 2019



Insurance Companies Redline Black Insurance

Prudential cuts the worth of black insurance policies


de Blasio Caves to Big Money on Public Housing

Despite posturing, private money does little to help poor New Yorkers.

Harlem builds an African burial ground

A bus depot is being prepared to honor enslaved and free African people.


9 Slave Testimonies on Jefferson Davis’ birthday

Five men and four women interviewed in Alabama in 1937


From the URC Library: Biopiracy by Vandana Shiva

One of the characteristics of reductionist biology is to declare organisms and their functions useless on the basis of ignorance of their structure and function. Thus, crops and trees are declared “weeds.” Forests and cattle breeds are declared “scrub.” And DNA whose role is not understood is called “junk DNA.” To write off the major part of the molecule as junk because of our ignorance is to fail to understand biological processes…


May 30th, 2019


Norfolk taps St. Louis non-profit to help the displaced.

A year late there’s finally light at the end of the tunnel, and it’s another train.


Chicago Builds Public Housing into Libraries.

Healthy neighborhood housing based on books.


Educating for Environmental Racism

Norfolk State University examines the role of race in environmental justice.

Urban Agriculture Has Provided Little Benefit

But this can change. Greener roofs might give us greener thumbs.


From the URC Library: Nightwalking.

“Who walks alone in the streets at night? The sad, the mad, the bad. The lost,the lonely. The hypomanic, the catatonic. The sleepless, the homeless. All the city’s internal exiles. ‘The night has always been the time for daylight’sdispossessed’, writes Bryan Palmer, ‘- the deviant, the dissident, the different.’ Solitary strolling at night in the city by both men and women has, from timeimmemorial, been interpreted as a sign of moral, social or spiritual dereliction.”

May 14th, 2019


Google Wants to Build a City.

Shell companies & data violations. The pitfalls are many, the solutions few.


When Did We Start Paying to Park Our Cars?

A quick read about that curbside time bomb.


Jakarta Has Had Enough Flooding.

Faced with rising sea levels, Indonesia is eyeing a new spot for its capital.

Long Commutes Are Bad for Kids.

Less sleep, less exercise, but more time with your kids?


From the URC Library: On the 33rd Anniversary of Chernobyl


Many left, these women stayed. On the 33rd Anniversary of Chernobyl. see how these resilient women live proudly in the evacuated Chernobyl “Dead Zone.”


May 1st 2019


How to Build a City That Doesn’t Flood?

Turn it into a sponge

D.C. housed the homeless in upscale apartments.

It hasn’t gone as planned


What Charter Schools See in Opportunity Zones.

Using tax incentives to fund new schools


Hampton Roads’ China Workaround

Rising prices for curbside pickup


From the URC Library: Sweetness and Power

What the history of sugar can teach us about imperialism, race, and purity.



URC at the St. Paul’s Q&A.

Challenges and promise facing community redevelopment.


April 10th 2019


Chicago Demolishes Its Public Housing

And where the residents move to is far from better.


Gentrification Is An Emergency, Sometimes.

Where gentrification is hitting hard, and where it isn’t.

Marietta Demolishes Its Public Housing

Is it gentrification if nobody cares?


Trash Picking for A Living

In San Francisco, making money from your billionaire-neighbor’s trash.


From the URC Library: What do you do with 5 billion gallons of waste?

A waste treatment plant so big, it has its own weather.


April 2nd 2019


St. Paul’s Area Restoration.

Lewis Webb weighs in on the community challenges facing Norfolk.


Indigenous Life On the US-Mexico border.

An increasingly difficult life for people here long before there was a US, Mexico, or border.

The Dark Side of Sand.

A precious part of the environment we encounter everyday, traded just like oil, with the same disastrous consequences.


No Longer the World’s Waste Basket.

After China stopped importing the world’s waste, global recycling has stalled. Recycling companies in the United States scramble.


From the URC Library: A History of America’s Favorite Bad Habit

How America shaped the doughnut. And more importantly, how the doughnut shaped America.




The Urban Renewal Center is located on unceded Powhatan Confederacy land.