Mark Joseph is ChicagoReporter_Winter2015_cover_72dpifeatured in the Chicago Reporter article “Dismantling the towers” about the transformation of the public housing complex Henry Horner Homes into the mixed-income development named Westhaven Park. Joseph and his colleagues at the University of Chicago have researched Westhaven Park and similar mixed-income developments in Chicago for over 10 years. Their research has shown that tensions between public housing residents and homeowners tend to be stoked by limited interaction. These types of tensions are referred to as us vs. them dynamics. Instead of leading to exchange of resources or job opportunities these restricted “hi, bye” interactions perpetuate a sense of exclusion and isolation between higher-income and lower-income residents. Joseph says it is easier to build housing than community within mixed-income developments. Despite the challenge, building community is an essential component of the developments’ ultimate success.

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