An Emerging Stereotype?

MLewyn's picture

The most recent issue of Better Cities and Towns contained an article about a new urbanist project in Wyandanch, a depressed Long Island neighborhood.  The article called Wyandanch "an inner-ring suburb."

But in fact, there is nothing "inner" about Wyandanch.  It is over 20 miles from the city limits dividing New York City from suburban Nassau County, and is about 40 miles from Manhattan.  If a suburb 20 miles from city limits is not an "outer suburb" I don't know what is.

I wonder if the Better Cities article illustrates a broader trend.  For most of my lifetime, the news media often used "inner-city" and "urban" as (often inaccurate) code words for "depressed", "poor" and "African-American."  Are Americans starting to use the term "inner-ring suburb" the same way- that is, to stereotype inner suburbs as depressed neighborhoods? 

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