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Having lived in the Chicago area years ago, I've seen the crime and violence that invested CHA's hi-rise public housing tenements. To any sane person, places like Cabrini-Green, Stateway, and the Robert Taylor Homes, were scary places to stay far away from. However in recent years Chicago has been taking down the old hi-rises and replacing them with what they call "Mixed income communities". The communities feature flats, town homes, and lo-rise apartment buildings, built on blocks reconnected to the city street grid. There will be a mix of public housing, affordable housing, and market rate homes. The objective is to create communities in which people of various incomes and walks of life share the same streets, sidewalks, and amenities. Here's a link to a collection of CHA produced videos talking about the changes.

CHA's videos of rebuilding public housing communities

On the surface things looks good. The various buildings are of tasteful design and blend in with the rest of the city's character. Green spaces look goods as well. The units inside the various buildings seem very accommodating. However I'm having a tough time shaking off the image of despair, crime, drugs, and violence that infested the former hi-rises and fear that the same criminals, gangs, and drug dealers that caused the problems in the hi-rises will returned to the rebuild communities and bring back the same problems that the city is trying to get rid of. So I'm hoping to hear comments from fellow UP'ers, living in Chicago about the rebuilding of Chicago's public housing. Are the communities going to work as the city intends? Or are my fears justified?

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