Precarious Constructions

Race, Class, and Urban Revitalization in Toronto

By Vanessa A. Rosa

174 pp., 6.125 x 9.25

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-7576-3
    Published: November 2023
  • E-book EPUB ISBN: 978-1-4696-7577-0
    Published: November 2023
  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4696-7575-6
    Published: November 2023

Buy this Book

For Professors:
Free E-Exam Copies

To purchase online via an independent bookstore, visit
This sharply argued book posits that urban revitalization—making "better" city living spaces from those that have been neglected due to racist city planning and divestment—is a code word for fraught, state-managed gentrification. Vanessa A. Rosa examines the revitalization of two Toronto public housing projects, Regent Park and Lawrence Heights, and uses this evidence to analyze the challenges of racial inequality and segregation at the heart of housing systems in many cities worldwide. Instead of promoting safety and belonging, Rosa argues that revitalization too often creates more intense exclusion. But the story of these housing projects also reveals how residents pushed back on the ideals of revitalization touted by city officials and policymakers. Rosa explores urban revitalization as a window to investigate broader questions about social regulation and the ways that racism, classism, and dynamics of inclusion/exclusion are foundational to liberal democratic societies, particularly as scholars continue to debate the politics of gentrification at the local level and the politics of integration and multiculturalism at the national level.

About the Author

Vanessa A. Rosa is associate professor of Latina/o studies at Mount Holyoke College.

For more information about Vanessa A. Rosa, visit the Author Page.


"Vanessa A. Rosa's book makes the enlightening argument that the connections between racial and class inequalities and processes of urban revitalization in 'marginalized' neighborhoods are much more active and dynamic than one might initially suspect. Rosa's conclusions about Toronto are highly relevant to urban revitalization efforts globally."—Liette Gilbert, York University