Intensified Spatial Injustice and Modern Urban Renewal Plans

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The urban renewal and redevelopment in the early 1970s of the Borgia Street area. The City Center mall replaced this old and historic neighborhood of the city. The renewal plan did not provide for new residential accommodations in the redeveloped area. Former residents were marginalized. This massive architectural intervention in Sudbury’s inner-city neighborhood was made under a typical modern urban renewal plan belonging to a discernible era of urban revitalization. These renewal plans, mostly conducted in the 1950s and 1960s, resulted in gentrification, spatial segregation, spatial injustice, and the marginalization of deprived people. In detailed interviews with former residents of Borgia Street, we inquired about the main good thing about the Borgia neighborhood that they missed. Their answers were analyzed, coded, and categorized by applying the grounded theory method. People stated that they had lost their childhood memories. They felt lonely, evicted, and unsafe. They had lost their collective memories while suffering from a lack of sense of belonging to the place. We discuss people’s deep interconnection with their constructed environment, which is known as place attachment. Modern urban renewal plans made dramatic changes to inner-city neighborhoods and led to large shifts in society in inner-city neighborhoods. We argue that what occurred in Sudbury systematically led to spatial separation and should be considered as a form of spatial injustice. Massive urban interventions in Sudbury and, we surmise, in other similar cities, caused irreversible changes to the composition of these societies and have contributed to spatial injustice.