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Environmental Law

2013

Georgetown University Law Center

Neighborhoods

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The Rebirth Of The Neighborhood, J. Peter Byrne Jan 2013

The Rebirth Of The Neighborhood, J. Peter Byrne

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

This essay argues that new urban residents primarily seek a type of community properly called a neighborhood. “Neighborhood” refers to a legible, pedestrian-scale area that has an identity apart from the corporate and bureaucratic structures that dominate the larger society. Such a neighborhood fosters repeated, casual contacts with neighbors and merchants, such as while one pursues Saturday errands or takes children to activities. Dealing with independent local merchants and artisans face-to-face provides a sense of liberation from large power structures, where most such residents work. Having easy access to places of sociability like coffee shops and bars permits spontaneous “meet-ups ...