Today’s focus on the development of "sustainable” communities as being critical to the recovery of the economy and the challenge of maintaining our high standard of living raises important questions: What is sustainable environmentally, economically, and socially? Who will be a part of the future economy and how will they participate? Or, in general, what do we mean by progress? Cities are resilient places of memory, and along with nature, can be our greatest teachers. Perhaps our cities’, and their inhabitants’, promise and progress for the future just may have something to do with their recovered past. In researching my own family history, I stumbled upon an online repository of post-war articles and reports about Flanner House, a social services organization that worked in Indianapolis dating back to the turn of the twentieth century. The documents included photographs, reports, and even building plans relevant to the organization’s work transforming a slum in the inner city into a community with garden plots and newly constructed homes. This story is compelling in that it narrates the historical decline and recovery cycles of the city, while depicting the struggles and triumphs of the urban fabric, and the people therein.
Moore, Justin G.
"Past Forward: Roots and Recovery in the American City,"
Cities and the Environment (CATE):
1, Article 6.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.lmu.edu/cate/vol5/iss1/6