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William Worthy’s Concept of "Institutional Rape" Revisited: Anchor Institutions and Residential Displacement in Buffalo, NY

Date: Mar 27, 2014
Author(s): Jade Lewis, Kelly Patterson, Robert Silverman
Topic(s): Economic Development: General, Housing / Neighborhoods: General, Poverty / Income Inequality: General
Type: Publication

This article examines the role of anchor institutions in the urban revitalization process. We use case study analysis to understand how concerns about residential displacement are addressed by anchor institutions in the urban planning process. This analysis is designed to build upon William Worthy’s critique of anchor-based development during the 1960s and 1970s. Our analysis examines the degree to which his concept of ‘‘institutional rape’’ applies to contemporary urban revitalization efforts. The article focuses on university and medical campus expansion in Buffalo, NY. We describe how the planned expansion of the Buffalo-Niagara Medical Campus has raised concerns about the displacement of residents living in a neighboring subsidized housing development. We conclude that despite incremental improvements in the planning process designed to facilitate coordination between anchor institutions and grassroots interests, resident empowerment has not been fully realized. Instead, the planning process continues to be dominated by