Presented by UNC-Asheville Professor Patrick Bahls
Most accounts of urban renewal for laypersons focus on one or the other end of the urban renewal process, either the high-level Federal policy (e.g., acts of US Congress) that set the stage for urban renewal or, at the other end, the resulting dissolution of neighborhoods. Very little attention, at least publicly, has been paid to the lengthy and complex intermediate stages of the process that led from its founding documents to communities’ upheaval. We will talk about some of those stages, including planning, appraisal, acquisition, and relocation, and how they were enacted by real, live human beings and the agencies they served. And we’ll look at how the process of urban renewal intersects with other processes, like historic preservation. This examination will help us to better understand the true loss to communities that stemmed from urban renewal.
Patrick Bahls was born and raised in Helena, Montana. He stayed in the West for college, attending the University of Denver as an undergraduate before moving to the South to pursue his doctoral degree at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. After a completing a postdoctoral position at the University of Illinois, Patrick joined the faculty in the Math Department at UNC Asheville and later took over as Director of the university’s Honors Program. Patrick’s academic interests vary widely, including not only pure mathematics but also composition and rhetoric and urban studies. Among his favorite classes to teach are Calculus II and the university’s senior capstone course: Cultivating Global Citizenship.