2 Chapter 11: Cities and Change IntroductionThe Urban Crisis: ThesisUrban Revival: AntithesisA Political Economy Look at the Urban Crisis21st-Century City DevelopmentsGentrificationDecline of Middle-Income NeighborhoodsSuccessful Working Class RevivalSummary
3 IntroductionThere is confusion and dispute about the future of the cityIt is a cliché that we live in an age of urban crisisCertainly there is no lack of prophets to passionately catalog urban ills
4 The Urban Crisis: Thesis The last decades of the 20th century heard voices raised everywhere proclaiming the inevitable decline, if not death, of the cityAre these pessimistic predictions accurate?Loss of manufacturing jobsGrowing need for services while revenues decreasedAging city properties and municipalities
5 Urban Revival: Antithesis The last two decades have witnessed a rebirth of hopeAn urban renaissance has taken placeThe recession and housing bust kept people from moving to the suburbsIn 2010, many cities posted their highest growth rates in a decade
6 A Political Economy Look at the Urban Crisis Political economy academics hold that city problems do not occur in a vacuum, and city problems cannot be examined separately from the political, historical, and, particularly, economic systems of which they are a partThe quest for ever-greater profits by large monopolistic corporations is seen s leading to government policiesGentrification is seen as a conscious product of land-based interest groups able to control the real estate market
7 21st-Century City Developments New PatternsThe economic and social health of cities shows a mixed patternDuring the 21st century, it seems clear, not all cities are going to experience similar situationsThe urban renaissance is uneven, but clearly more prevalent than a decade ago
8 Central Business Districts The Central Business District (CBD) is the economic heart of the cityGenerally have been reasonably successful in retaining business and government officesDowntown buildings use space effectivelyCities are actively promoting downtown convention centers as an economic growth strategyDowntown stores will never again have the unchallenged control of retail trade they exhibited during the centralizing era of the streetcar and subway
9 Mismatch Hypothesis Downtown Housing Central-city offices provide new jobs—but only for those possessing specific white-collar skillsCity factories and manufacturing plants continue to move to the suburbs—or, more frequently, abroadThe so-called “mismatch hypothesis” is that cities have blue-collar job seekers and white-collar job opportunitiesDowntown HousingIn the last decade downtown population in major U.S. cities increased about 10 percentThe most successful North American city in bringing residents downtown is VancouverThere is a need for balance of people and business
10 Crumbling Infrastructure Fiscal HealthToday municipalities are largely left to sink or swim on their ownWithout federal help cities have substantially abandoned their earlier programs to fight poverty and solve social problemsOf every dollar of taxes, 65 cents go to the federal government, 20 cents go to the states, and only the remaining 14 cents go to the local governmentsCrumbling InfrastructureThe most severe problem is often antiquated water and sewage systems80,000 acres of lad are polluted with toxic chemicals and deserted
11 Neighborhood RevivalThere is now a clear movement, especially by young professionals, toward residence in the central cityThe gentrification movement is taking place in older neighborhoods that are recycling from a period of decayThe last decade has seen the rapid expansion of gentrification with cities such as Boston, New York, Chicago, and San Francisco
12 Gentrification Government and Revitalization Who is Gentrifying? In the postwar years the federal government sponsored urban clearance and renewalBy contrast, until recently urban gentrification has been funded almost entirely by the private sectorToday, municipal governments overwhelmingly support gentrification, largely because it brings more affluent taxpayersWho is Gentrifying?Gentrifiers are perhaps better described as “urban stayers” than as “urban in-movers”Generally young or middle-aged adults, childless, white, urban-bred, well-educated, etc.
13 Why is Gentrification Taking Place? Demographic ChangesDecline in marriage, later age at marriage, increases in unmarried couples, and declines in the umber of young children per familyAll factors represent a decline of the sort of “familism” that played such an important part in the postwar flight to the suburbsEconomic ChangesCommuting and utilities are expensiveRevitalizing existing city housing can be less expensive than new construction on the suburban periphery
14 Displacement of the Poor Lifestyle ChoicesUrban living is “in”A serious liability of many central-city neighborhoods—the low quality of city schools—does not weigh as heavily on urbanites without childrenOlder restored houses are now considered more desirableDisplacement of the PoorThose displaced are most often low-income renters, and low-income renters as a group have high residential mobilityElderly property owners do face higher property assessments, but higher assessments mean that their property is sharply appreciating in value
15 Decline of Middle-Income Neighborhoods The number of middle-income neighborhoods is shrinkingU.S. middle-income neighborhoods made up six out of ten of all metro neighborhoods in 1970, they made up only four out of ten in 2000Rising income inequality has led to rising income segregationNeighborhoods are becoming more and more economically homogenous
16 Successful Working-Class Revival Is it possible for cities to provide decent housing for low-income working-class residents?Working with community groups and local nonprofit housing corporations, the city of New York, for example, has worked a quiet revolution, building just during the early 1990s some 50,000 new residences in what had been the most devastated areas of the city
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