You are the Ford Professor of Urban Design and Planning at MIT in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning and you have widely researched housing policy in the United States. Two of your principal publications on this topic, “From the Puritans to the Projects: Public Housing and Public Neighbors” and “Reclaiming Public Housing: A Half-Century of Struggle in Three Public Neighborhoods”, put the notion of ‘public’ at the core of your approach to subsidized housing. Could you please explain the history of this word in the American context and how it came to be associated with housing?

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