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Milwaukee's community renewal program: Urban renewal techniques
(May 1964)

VI. Milwaukee's strategy for renewal,   pp. 41-42

Page 41

Milwaukee's Community Renewal Program provides fresh insights into the city's problems and resources.
It outlines the techniques whereby the city can constructively assist private enterprise in the renewal of Mil-
waukee and establishes more complete organizational machinery whereby this assistance can be rendered. To
best apply these insights, techniques, and organizational machinery, a basic strategy of renewal should be
adopted. The following are the major components desirable in this strategy.
1.  Renewal action program based on comprehensive analysis of renewal needs and resources. In the
Community Renewal Program, the city's deteriorating areas are studied and the factors which tend
to create them are analyzed. The community's physical, social, financial, and administrative re-
sources with which it can combat blight and renew the city are also examined. These analyses pro-
vide a sound foundation upon which to build an action oriented renewal program.
2.  Systematic program of blight elimination in order to catch up and then stay ahead of spreading
blight. This is real ly an aspect of the action renewal program discussed above. The elimination of
blight requires implementation of a number of specific programs and policies: (a) intensive code
enforcement and increased city services of other types in areas which need treatment but which are
not designated for immediate clearance, (b) intensive educational and social service programs in
problem areas, and (c) treating and timing governmentally assisted renewal projects in ways which
will encourage maximum private renewal.
Relating to the establishment of high priority renewal projects, the elimination of blight appears to
hold greatest promise by ringing or containing the areas of most blight, by eliminating the worst
housing conditions, and by acting in areas which have the greatest success potential. A policy of
"ringing blight," in particular, possesses a number of advantages, the first being that the market
for cleared land tends to be better if it is situated near relatively good areas rather than in the mid-
dle of the worst ones. A second advantage is that residents and merchants of neighboring good areas
will be more apt to invest money in the upkeep and improvement of their properties, knowing that
nearby blighting influences are being eradicated. Thirdly, successful renewal projects and the fav-
roable effects they can have upon nearby areas tend to prevent the spread of blighted conditions.
3.  Coordination of renewal action with other public activities in order to obtain the greatest benefits
for the least cost. Sometimes public activities exert marked effects on surrounding areas. If the

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