Naming Power?: Urban Development and Contestation in the Callowhill Neighborhood of Philadelphia
Bachelor of Arts
Comparative American Studies
Gina M. Pérez
Mark J. Stern
Fundamentally the transformations of the American urban landscape in the years following World War II are reflections of shifting distributions of power facilitated by the emerging neoliberal regime. Eminent spatial theorist David Harvey’s writing about the “right to the city” postulates that the ability to “make and remake” the city is a human right. Universally, though, the only actors able to make and remake the city are those who have access to wealth, power, and capital. Philadelphia has seen an inordinate amount of change in the postwar years, from urban renewal in the mid-20th century to gentrification happening today––these alterations to the urban landscape have caused already existent racial and economic disparities to deepen. This thesis takes the formally industrial Callowhill neighborhood of Philadelphia as a site that demonstrates how power and making/remaking space are inextricably entwined––the contestations over the name, aesthetic character, and decision-making power speak to how control is allocated in an increasingly inequitable urban landscape.
Marcus, Rachel E., "Naming Power?: Urban Development and Contestation in the Callowhill Neighborhood of Philadelphia" (2020). Honors Papers. 703.