Michael McQuarrie

8 Posts

Michael McQuarrie is an Associate Professor in Sociology at the London School of Economics. He was formerly a community organizer, a labor organizer, and a housing developer.

Financial Destruction in Detroit

On Friday, Detroit’s emergency manager, Kevyn Orr, filed a lawsuit on behalf of the city challenging the legitimacy of interest-rate swap contracts which were costing the city tens of millions […]

Housing Advocacy

Take Note: Berlin Thrives with a Declining Population and Housing Surplus

A few months ago I wrote a piece for Shelterforce and a related piece for Rooflines on Mumbai. There I argued that our ideas and practices about housing and community […]


In India, Large-scale Housing Solutions Don’t Work

In the latest issue of Shelterforce, I proposed that community development practitioners in the U.S. could learn from Dharavi, one of the largest slums in Mumbai in my article, “What […]


Detroit: Exception or Rule?

The bankruptcy of Detroit (the legal filing is currently on hold) has prompted a sudden flood of interest in the city. Pundits have breezily explained the event by blaming public […]

In the center are blue doors that are surrounded by orange, white, and brown pieces of metal-looking material. This is what a warehouse looks like in a Mumbai slum.
Community Development Field

What Mumbai’s Slums Do Right, And Why We Should Emulate Them

Sometimes to understand our own cities and community development practices it is helpful to understand a radically different setting. In the slums of Mumbai one thing is immediately evident: the […]


ESOP Rises Again

The success of a Cleveland-based community organizing group in the face of massive foreclosures suggests that the city (and the nation) should have held on to a more diverse set of community organizations.


CDCs Must Recognize Changing Conditions

It was announced this week that new home sales dropped 15 percent in December. This follows a year of similar news. Earlier in the week everyone was pleasantly surprised by […]

Community Development Field

Running on Empty

For decades, community developers have relied on the power of markets to bring neighborhoods back, but they can’t build their way out of the foreclosure mess.