Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Send them some parkettes

We keep hearing about the magic revitalizing "vibrancy" that comes with artificially imposed arts districts or high rise condo developments. But that's all stuff you see happening in places the wealthy are already interested in.  Why is no one trying to "revitalize" neighborhoods that are actually in decline?
This is not an indictment of Cobb County in particular. Rather, what’s happening in Cobb is a microcosm of the dilemma facing suburbs nationwide: a rapid spike in the number of poor people in what once were the sprawling beacons of American prosperity. Think of it as the flip side of the national urban boom: The poverty rate across all U.S. suburbs doubled in the first decade of the millennium—even as America’s cities are transforming in the other direction, toward rising affluence and hipster reinvention. If the old story of poverty in America was crumbling inner cities and drug-addled housing projects, the new story is increasingly one of downscale strip malls and long bus rides in search of ever-scarcer jobs. We can’t understand what’s working in America’s cities unless we also look at what’s not working in the vast suburbs that surround them.

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