• Racializing Risk: The History of Ladera Housing Cooperative
    T. F. Tierney

John Funk and Joseph Allen Stein. “House and Garden for Ladera Peninsula Housing Association,” 1947. Gelatin silver print of line drawing. Courtesy John Funk Collection, University of California Berkeley, Environmental Design Archives

The Federal Housing Administration’s (FHA) differential lending practices in the 1940s are readily illustrated in the controversial history of Ladera Housing Cooperative. This study builds on previous theories of privatization and racialization to proffer new understanding of the application of credit rationing and its actual implementation in Northern California community planning. Utilizing routine, but obscure risk appraisal guidelines, the FHA played a significant role in the structural institutionalization of segregated suburbs that surround us today. Seen for the first time, this research pulls together dispersed archival material into a coherent and illuminating whole. Beginning with the founding of the cooperative, the project analyzes the innovative and environmentally responsive planning features of the proposed community, followed by an explication of the lending application process. The theory is advanced that through its lending practices, Californian cities achieved the same impact as redlining used in Chicago, New York, and Philadelphia. For Ladera, implicit rules and policies were just as effective in maintaining racial segregation

Born in Palo Alto, California, T. F. Tierney is founding director of URL: Urban Research Lab and emerita professor at the University of Illinois. Tierney’s research focuses on critical urbanism and the impact of policymaking on cities and infrastructure. Recent research concerns smart cities, public space, and inclusive urban development. Tierney is actively involved in urban design around the world. In 2015, along with curators Mimi Zeiger and Tim Durfee, she participated in a group exhibit, Now There: Scenes from a Post-Geographic City, which won the UABB Bronze Dragon Award at the Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism + Architecture in Shenzen, China. In 2013, Tierney was a United States Delegate for Smart & Digital Cities in France; she was selected for the quality of her research to build the next generation of cities. Tierney also serves on the editorial board of The Bartlett’s ARENA Journal of Architectural Research (University College London). She has been published widely, most recently Intelligent Infrastructure: Zipcars, Invisible Networks and Urban Transformation (University of Virginia Press, 2017); The Public Space of Social Media: Connected Cultures of Network Society (Routledge, 2013), which was a finalist for the Jane Jacobs Award; and coeditor with Anthony Burke of Network Practice: New Strategies for Architecture + Design (Princeton Architectural Press, 2007), in addition to numerous journal articles. Tierney holds a doctorate in architecture with a designated emphasis in design theories and methods from University of California, Berkeley; a bachelor’s in architecture from California College of the Arts; she was a predoctoral researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab in 2006.