DC had experienced various housing and urban renewal programs and I was wondering if it is possible to actually judge a project, particularly the Shaw School Urban Renewal Area project, which began roughly, in the 60s after the larger Northwest Urban Renewal Area project was changed and broken into parts. And that points out a problem, a project may start out as one thing, get re-evaluated and changed. There are also other factors relating to changes in personnel and governance, I'm thinking of the impact of the Home Rule Act on federally funded and headed urban renewal projects.
The goal was slum clearance. Was the slum cleared? One, you could argue if the area was a slum in the first place. I got in a binder that contains some very pale photocopies of a survey of the type of housing found in Shaw, and various other surveys documenting the number of "substandard" housing units found on each square. Like arguing 'slum', 'substandard' can be disagreed on as well. Second, who do you credit? Yes, the government poured all sorts of money into the area, but the rioters' fires and vandalism removed plenty of buildings, which may have taken tons of paperwork to approve the demolition. The rioting also changed the atmosphere, the tone and the direction of the project. Third, when do you know a project is done? The National Capital Planning Commission still references the old Shaw maps and outline. Is it done now? I don't know. I'm guessing maybe, yes.