Proper understanding of gentrification in cities such as Austin is elusive without fuller appreciation of the role played by New Urbanist and (somewhat later) Creative Class dogma in furnishing some of the intellectual foundations for the neoliberalization of the American metropolis. The proving ground for many of these ideologies was public housing. The speaker, who was an employee of the Austin Housing Authority in the mid 1990's and possesses over twenty years of participant observation as a public housing resident, advocate, organizer, preservationist and scholar assesses the current landscape and furnishes some ideas about how to move forward.
Dr. Fred L. McGhee
Fred L. McGhee is an urban and environmental anthropologist who has written about and organized extensively in public housing projects in Europe, America and the Pacific Islands. As the last Mike Hogg Fellow at UT Austin he helped to create the university's undergraduate degree program in Urban Studies, as well as the Doctoral Portfolio. An Adjunct Associate Professor of Anthropology at Austin Community College, Dr. McGhee formerly served on Austin's Community Development Commission and the Joint Sustainability Committee and has been active in the private sector as a consulting archaeologist and historian since 2002. Dr. McGhee is the author of four books and was a candidate for the Austin City Council in 2014.