Environment: The Tragedy of Pruitt-lgoe

American cities more than most others suffer from the good intentions of urban planners. A case in point is the swing to highrise, low-rent housing projects in the 1950s. Built to literally lift the poor above the grime of slums, they instead deteriorated into vertical slums that now contribute so much to the congestion, isolation and ugliness of U.S. cities that urban planners often must wish that they could just knock them down and start over from scratch. St. Louis will soon do just that.

Last week St. Louis' city planners got an official...

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