Thursday, March 22, 2012

The New Suburban Poverty -

The New Suburban Poverty -
" In many of America’s once pristine suburbs, harbingers of inner-city blight — overgrown lots, boarded up windows, abandoned residences — are the new eyesores. From the Midwestern rust-belt to the burst housing bubbles of Nevada, California and Florida, even in small pockets of still affluent regions like Du Page County, Ill., the nation’s soaring poverty rates are visibly reclaiming last century’s triumphal “crabgrass frontier.” In well-heeled Illinois towns like Glen Ellyn and Elgin, unkempt, weedy lawns blot the formerly manicured, uniform and tidy landscape...One recent study conducted by Sean Reardon and Kendra Bischoff of Stanford University documented the spatial sorting by income that is going on, with the wealthy flocking together in new exurbs as well as gentrifying pockets of urban centers. "
This is a more nuanced statement of the case that David Rusk and Myron Orfield have been making for about 20 years:  inner ring suburbs are getting increasing population of poor people but have no systems in place for addressing their needs, and the affluent are moving out of inner ring suburbs to the new gated exurban subdivisions and fortified urban compounds. Then along came the recession, and now astronomical gas prices, and you have the makings for a political realignment of the the left.

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