One common "story" about the evolution of American cities is that suburban poverty is growing because people are being driven out of high-priced cities into suburbs. One possible implication of this argument is that cities need to be kept poor and stagnant so that poor people can afford them.
Leigh Gallagher's new book The End of the Suburbs is getting amazing media attention this week, and while Joe Scarborough or Mara Schiavocampo don't see "new urbanism" on their teleprompter, a new urbanist community appears on screen. That community is Libertyville, Illinois, developed by StreetScape Development, LLC.
The Finger Lakes Institute based at Hobart & William Smith Colleges, has created a community design center, dubbed the FLI-CDC, which strives to provide Finger Lakes communities with innovative, creative, and sustainable design solutions that improve the built environment and quality of life, while protecting the natural environment. Support for the FLI-CDC has been generously provided by the Isabel Foundation.
Sprawl supporters occasionally argue that sprawl is less crime-ridden than walkable urbanism. But this argument seems to be contradicted by the reality of citywide crime rates: New York, our country's most transit-friendly city, is also one of its safest.
CNU Illinois and the Congress for the New Urbanism joined a coalition of 15 regional organizations to release a civic platform for the reconstruction of North Lake Shore Drive. The coalition calls for a bold vision to better meet the needs of everyone who uses the lakefront. The platform is based on seven principles and includes a host of recommendations for the Illinois Department of Transportation and Chicago Department of Transportation as they embark on a planning study for the reconstruction of North Lake Shore Drive from Grand to Hollywood avenues.
I just used Amazon.com to look inside a new book on suburban poverty ("Confronting Suburban Poverty In America" by Elizabeth Kneebone and Alan Berube).
I found the following admission: "[since 2000] poverty rates rose by equal degrees in cities and suburbs (roughly 3 percentage points) though the urban poverty rate remained almost twice as high as the suburban rate". (p. 35). So although the gap between cities and suburbs has narrowed slightly, cities are still more poverty-packed than suburbs.
The built environment has a unique and distinct impact on the health of its inhabitants. Former CNU plenary speaker, Dr. Richard Jackson, recently published an article in the Journal of Public Health where he reviews the rocky history between the two.
This post is a part of CNU’s Highways to Boulevards Blog series, which features interview summaries and insights from some of the best minds at the frontline of our Highways to Boulevards Initiative.
The End of the Suburbs is a new book from Leigh Gallagher, assistant Managing Editor at Fortune Magazine, that bluntly assesses the future of suburbia. Gallagher says it's over; at least in the form it's taken for the last 50 years. She marshals demographic and consumer preference data in a driving narrative demonstrating that the large lot, separately-zoned and auto-centric suburb is doomed.
One result of Detroit's recent bankruptcy has been the usual finger-pointing about the cause of that city's probems. Commonly mentioned culprits include deindustrialization, absence of federal support, and the sprawl-induced decline of urban tax bases. Another common argument (especially among conservatives) is that if only Detroit wasn't governed by liberals, Democrats, etc. it wouldn't have become so overextended.