"It’s What’s Best for the City": Moral Authority, Power Relations and Urban Erasure in Transit Corridors
Author(s): Margaret Purser
This is an abstract from the "Urban Erasures and Contested Memorial Assemblages" session, at the 2019 annual meeting of the Society for Historical Archaeology.
Santa Rosa, California has experienced two waves of transit-driven landscape change over the past century. The first occurred when the 101 freeway was constructed through the downtown adjacent to its 19th-century railroad corridor in the 1940s. The second is occurring now, with the development of high density housing zones along the new "Smart Train" system, which runs along that same railroad corridor. Comparing language used in both cases by planners, city officials, and various community members documents a projected moral "high ground" held by people in positions of power, which confounds assertions about character and motives of people living in the affected areas with the value of those places. The strategies used by local residents to rebut this identity in their fight against the two different projects powerfully demonstrates how past places have been measured against a projected future whose claim to progress rests on their destruction.
Cite this Record
"It’s What’s Best for the City": Moral Authority, Power Relations and Urban Erasure in Transit Corridors. Margaret Purser. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, St. Charles, MO. 2019 ( tDAR id: 449263)
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min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;
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Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology