Year 16, Book 27

27: In the Shadow of the Ivory Tower: How Universities are Plundering Our Cities by Davarian L. Baldwin

Baldwin looks at how universities take from cities without giving back to the cities as a whole. He looks at how they are large tax-exempt organizations that use city services without paying into them. In addition, in order to expand their urban campuses they often displace marginalized people and then create walled cities that the people they kicked out are not allowed to access. This also often results in policing of the communities surrounding the campus to “protect” the students from the people who actually live in the city. Each chapter focuses on one particular issue using one major university as an example. Although Johns Hopkins wasn’t one of the universities he focused on it pretty much comes up in every chapter, which was very relatable to me as someone who lives in Baltimore and has seen all these issues play out in this city. He does also provide some examples at the end of universities who are trying to be better neighbors and truly integrate themselves into the cities they are a part of to give a sort of blue print on where universities can and should go from here. I give it a 7 out of 10.

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