Promise and Betrayal: Universities and the Battle for Sustainable Urban Neighborhoods John I. Gilderbloom and Rob Mullins For More Info Contact: State University of New York Press, State University Plaza, Albany, NY 12246-0001

Review By Richard Layman

Review By Chris Steins

“represent something of a moral stand with regard to the role of the modern university in society.  The authors do this, and quite successfully, by playing safe.  The writing is that of a research report: dry, terse, informative , clear.  The clarity extends through to the structure of the book…”


                           “focus is also its strength: the level of detail with which the projects are described is impressive, and the various relationships that such initiatives involve are examined closely.  This will be of interest to a broad range of readers: those in academia and private practice, or those members of the community wondering how to get their local university more involved in its surroundings. 


                           “…there is plenty of transferable  knowledge here.  Lastly, the analysis comes across as remarkably balanced, considering the fact that authors played a central role in the programs.”


                           “Universities can make a real difference, but for that to happen as the authors put it, “University professors need to get out of the ivory tower and back on the streets. Recommended.


                  Nick Green, Planning, Practice and Research, Volume 21, Number 1 pp 139-143, February 2006



"most substantial case study". .."gripping in its narration of the highs and lows involved."..."the book charts a really exciting first-person analysis of several years of building and sustaining long-term programs in the nineties..."

--Journal of Planning Education and Research (Vol. 25, No. 3, 336-338 (2006)




“distinguishing…should be useful for university administrators, who rarely consider all aspects of involvement before they engage their institutions in a community partnership…the book merits attention as a review of 10 years of community development work at the University of Louisville, including many accomplishments most universities would be happy to emulate.  There remains much here to ponder and learn from.”

                      --Journal of Urban Affairs, 2006, Volume 28 Number 2


  “HANDS brought together an impressive coalition of government, neighborhood, city and even corporate players to successfully build affordable housing,  reduce crime, educate children, enhance resident access to technology and provide social work case managements services.”


“impressive”…those on the university side of the relationship who are trying to do the right thing will find some important lessons about university politics.”

Randy Stoecker, Shelterforce, Issue 148, Winter 2006




                           “highlights the authors’ involvement in a project to improve the      impoverished,

                           mostly African -American neighborhood…provide valuable lessons.”  International Journal of Urban and Regional Research Volume 30, number 2, 2006732-734


                           “This book by Gilderbloom and Mullins is an important contribution to the field and should be read by university and community leaders as well as policy makers at all levels.” –Foreword by Dr. Henry Cisneros, Former Secretary of U.S. Housing and Urban Development


                           “This is a must read for anyone who wrestles with the moral obligations of academic development.”—Tom Ingram, President, Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges.


                           ‘The authors provide a long awaited analysis of where the ties between universities and communities stand today, and the directions they must be headed in if the American dream of one society is ever to be realized”—Neal Peirce, Washington Post Writers Group.


                           “University of Louisville professor John Gilderbloom seems to have a genius.... helped build or renovate more than 600 housing units in Louisville’s once-blighted Russell neighborhood. Gilderbloom’s claim to fame is facilitating redevelopment of large swaths of the Russell neighborhood.  An expert on urban housing…” 

                                             --Larry Muhammad, Courier-Journal August 21, 2005