What Doesn’t Love a Wall

A fence between Hamden and New Haven traps the city’s poor, exposing 21st-century prejudice.

Pale-barked branches dip over the fence between Hamden and New Haven like old arms reaching to gather bickering boys in an embrace. Separating Hamden, a working-class suburb, from three public housing projects in the neighboring city of New Haven, there is a 12-foot tall fence. Five-inch long silvery, bolted strips link sections of the fence. Its thick metal grating fractures views of neighbors’ homes ten paces away. Added-on pieces of fence drop into vacant spaces among tree roots, screening even squirrels’ holes. The projects are. . . Read more
Ben Mueller
Rebuilt and Recultured

A mixed-income housing development now stands on the site of New Haven’s oldest project. How can the spirit of the old community help us evaluate the change?

An empty storefront on Dixwell Avenue reflects the manicured homes of Monterey Place across the street. The offer of a tour of several New Haven neighborhoods by a self-described “ex-hustler” was hard to turn down for two reasons. The first is that I study cities, specifically housing policy, and have written many a story and paper about what happens to communities when the government changes the type of buildings in a neighborhood and the rules about who is allowed to stay. The second is that. . . Read more
Catherine Osborn