Welcome to the neighborhood / Janet Abu-Lughod -- The changing economy of the Lower East Side / Jan Chien Lin -- The tenement as a built form / Richard Plunz and Janet Abu-Lughod -- A history of Tompkins Square Park / Marci Reaven and Jeanne Houck -- Déjáa vu : replanning the Lower East Side in the 1930s / Suzanne Wasserman -- Neighborhood "burn-out" : Puerto Ricans at the end of the queue / Christopher Mele -- Appendix : The other side of the coin : culture in Loisaida / Mario Maffi -- From disinvestment to reinvestment : mapping the urban 'frontier' in the Lower East Side / Neil Smith, Betsy Duncan, and Laura Reid -- The process of gentrification in Alphabet City / Christopher Mele -- Public action : New York City policy and the gentrification of the Lower East Side / William Sites -- A resident's view of conflict on Tompkins Square Park / Diana R. Gordon -- The battle for Tompkins Square Park / Janet Abu-Lughod -- The residents in Tompkins Square Park / Dorine Greshof and John Dale -- The squatters : a chorus of voices ... but is anyone listening? / Andrew Van Kleunen -- Defending the cross-subsidy plan : the tortoise wins again ; Conclusions and implications / Janet Abu-Lughod. This landmark study explores a new reality in today's inner cities - one that diverges radically from the dominant models of either the urban village, with its shared culture, or the disorganized zone of urban anomie. Growing numbers of inner city neighbourhoods now contain populations drawn from a multiplicity of ethnicities, subcultures, and classes. These groups may share physical space, but they pursue disparate ways of life and hold very different views of their neighbourhood's future. Such areas have become contested turf - arenas of heated political struggle. Nowhere has this struggle been so complexly joined than in the East Village on New York's Lower East Side. For over two decades, established and new immigrants, community activists, hippies, squatters, yuppies, developers, drug dealers, artists, the homeless, and the police have been battling for control of the district and its central meeting ground, Tompkins Square Park. Based on five years of research and participant observation, this book gives a vivid account of the contestants and their struggles in the battle for the Lower East Side. It is a battle which is likely to be replicated, perhaps less violently, in many other parts of urban America.