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Most scholarly efforts to understand the political economy of postwar urban redevelopment have typically viewed urban renewal and public housing as “housing” programs that originated with the “federal” government. Yet this view is problematic for two reasons. First, it fails to specify the key actors and organized interests, especially real estate officials and downtown business elites, in the programmatic design and implementation of urban renewal and public housing. Second, this view does not fully acknowledge the dislocating and segregative effects of urban renewal and public housing on central city neighborhoods and the role these private-public initiatives played in shaping demographic and population patterns in the postwar era. I draw upon archival data and newspaper articles, real estate industry documents, government reports, and interviews to examine the origin, local implementation, and segregative effects of urban renewal and public housing in Kansas City, Missouri. I explore the role of the ideology of privatism—the underlying commitment by the public sector to enhancing the growth and prosperity of private institutions—in shaping the postwar “system” of urban economic development in which urban renewal and public housing were formulated and implemented. Focusing on the interlocking nature of race and class, I identify the critical links between urban renewal and public housing, and the long-term impact of these programs on metropolitan development in the decades after World War II.