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Cities Without Suburbs Madeline Roche, Ben Sebers and Nick Vorpagel.

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Presentation on theme: "Cities Without Suburbs Madeline Roche, Ben Sebers and Nick Vorpagel."— Presentation transcript:

1 Cities Without Suburbs Madeline Roche, Ben Sebers and Nick Vorpagel

2 Outline David Rusk Cities Without Suburbs Elasticity Why Elasticity is Desirable Characteristics of Elastic Cities ConclusionsDiscussion

3 David Rusk Former Mayor of Albuquerque ( ) and New Mexico State Legislator ( ). Author and consultant on urban policy throughout the US and abroad. Image from Wisconsin Alliance of Cities website.

4 Cities Without Suburbs First written in 1993, intended primarily for urban Mayors. Has gained critical acclaim, widespread adoption in academia, and thrust Rusk to the forefront of urban policy debate. Most recently updated in Image from Barnes and Noble website.

5 Question Examined Why do some cities, like Houston, grow rapidly? (360% population change from ) Image from City of Houston website.

6 Question Examined While other cities, like Detroit, grow slowly? (37% population change )‏ Image from

7 Examining the Question Studying cities from , Rusk learned 26 lessons. He learned that in order for a city to grow, the city must be “elastic”. Elasticity measures the ability of a city to grow. Images from

8 What is Elasticity? Zero Elastic Cities –New York –Detroit Low Elastic Cities –Chicago –Milwaukee Medium Elastic Cities –Des Moines –Cedar Rapids High Elastic Cities –Kansas City –Indianapolis Hyper Elastic City –Las Vegas –Little Rock Formula: X+3y=Elasticity Score Elastic cities have a common set of characteristics which Rusk points out in his lessons. For a number of reasons, elastic cities are more desirable than inelastic cities.

9 Distribution of Cities

10 Characteristics of Elastic Cities vs. Inelastic Cities Elastic Cities: –Newer cities –Grow quickly –Generate post- industrial jobs. –Have a well- educated populace. –Are integrated racially, socially, and economically. Inelastic Cities: –Older cities –Grow slowly –Are hard hit by the loss of industrial jobs. –Posses poor education systems. –Are highly segregated racially, socially and economically.

11 Age of Cities Old city has an inventory of old, often decaying neighborhoods that typically house the poor Long established black or Hispanic population in an old city may increase segregation due to social prejudices Census When Population Exceeded 100,000 Zero Elasticity 1885 Low Elasticity 1913 Medium Elasticity 1947 High Elasticity 1949 Hyper Elasticity 1954

12 Growth in Cities Higher Elasticity areas have been able to increase not only in population but also in size of city Population Percent Change from Percent Change in Sq. Miles from Zero Elasticity 47%1% Low Elasticity 94%21% Medium Elasticity 241%193% High Elasticity 185%342% Hyper Elasticity 291%944%

13 Post-industrial Job Creation Deindustrialization hit less elastic areas harder Most old, smokestack industries that were driven out due to international competition were mostly located in Northeast or Industrial Midwest (the more inelastic areas) Manufacturing Jobs as a percent of total jobs (1969) Percent Change in Manufacturing Jobs ( ) Zero Elasticity 24%-40% Low Elasticity 27%-23% Medium Elasticity 19%28% High Elasticity 21%18% Hyper Elasticity 15%65%

14 Race, Economy, and Social Integration Average Metro Race Segregation Index (2000) Average Metro Economic Segregation Index (2000) Elementary School Segregation index for Blacks ( ) Elementary School Segregation index for Poor ( ) Zero Elasticity Low Elasticity Medium Elasticity High Elasticity Hyper Elasticity =apartheid

15 Elastic v. Inelastic Madison, Wis. Harrisburg, Pa. Percent Change in Population ( ) 152%58% Percent Change is Sq. Miles ( ) 346%29% Metro Race Segregation Index 4671 Percentage of income in central city compared to Metro Area 95%57% Poverty Rate in City 15%24.6% Number of suburban governments Percent change in number of manufacturing jobs ( ) 86%-18% Total non-manufacturing job growth ( ) 135%96% Bond Rating AaaBaa2 Percent of areas workers with a bachelor’s degree 24.8%14.4%

16 Structure of Elastic Cities Elastic cities: –Possess forms of unified local government. –Receive favorable treatment from state and federal government.

17 Unified Local Government Elastic cities have “big box” institutions as opposed to “little box” institutions. Big boxes facilitate integration while little boxes foster segregation. City-county consolidation and annexation of outlying areas allows a city to continue to grow and capture economic growth.

18 Indianapolis – Unified City

19 Detroit – Non-Unified City

20 Favorable State and Federal Treatment The City is dependent on the state and federal government to grow. Elastic cities receive favorable treatment. –Liberal Annexation Laws provided by the state. –Federal Aid money invested in the central city rather than the suburbs.‏ Image from

21 State Annexation Laws

22 Federal Programs Promote Sprawl Federal Housing Authority and VA support low-interest mortgages for single family homes. Federal Highway Administration spent $874 Billion on highways, and only $147 Billion on Mass transit from Most sprawl-oriented infrastructure built in 2001 was financed 75-90% by the Federal government.

23 How to build Elastic Cities Improve annexation laws. Enact laws to encourage city- county consolidation. Promote regional planning authorities.

24 Policies Elastic Cities Pursue Diminish racial and economic segregation by pursuing mixed-income housing strategies. Implement regional land use and transportation management schemes to reinvest into the central city. Establish metro-wide tax bases to help equalize local revenues.

25 Questions about Cities Without Suburbs Will cities pursuing the Rusk strategy lose jobs to cities not pursuing the Rusk strategy? Is metropolitan government possible in places where municipalities span multiple counties, states or even countries? Is inclusionary zoning a practical strategy to pursue on a large scale?


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