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Thread: fragmentation in the US, let me have your input

  1. #1

    fragmentation in the US, let me have your input

    The pattern of governmental fragmentation in U.S. metropolitan regions like Greater Philadelphia(where i live) has led to a geographical mismatch between needs versus resources. Where disadvantaged people need the most public services, the tax revenues are least available to pay for those services. In your opinion, which of the following remedies would be easier to implement? 1.) building new and better housing in inner cities to attract middle class families back to the city center? or 2.) building more affordable housing in the suburbs so low-income families could move to suburban communities?

    heres what i think:
    Building more affordable low income housing in suburban areas is a much more "acceptable" idea. I'm not sure middle income familes would move to impoverished cities because of the stigma of poor quality schools, health care and sanitation. If we gave more families of different income status opprotunities to have the same education, health care, job opprotunities and housing as other families do, already living in the suburbs, the cycle of poverty would not perpetuate itself. The children would be able to get out of those neighborhoods, and get better educations, and get better jobs.
    The people who need the most help, are the people who can not afford it, who live in the most impoverished areas. As a wealthy nation, whether perfomed at a federal, state, or local gov't level, we must give money to these areas, we must help re-develop those areas, and we must help make sure those children in those areas get the same education children in the wealthy town next to them get.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Rumpy Tunanator's avatar
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    Re: fragmentation in the US, let me have your input

    Originally posted by TURaj
    [B]The pattern of governmental fragmentation in U.S. metropolitan regions like Greater Philadelphia(where i live) has led to a geographical mismatch between needs versus resources. Where disadvantaged people need the most public services, the tax revenues are least available to pay for those services. B]
    -Same problem here, and Medicaid costs are really killing the city/county relationship over here. They say they can't give us the extra penny of county sales tax to bail us out because of the cost of Medicaid. That money apparently goes to support the concentrated poor within the city.
    -At the same time, the city is the one who bailed the county out with the extra increase in sales tax back in the 80"s. Now they don't want to give us our fair share due. Well start putiing the public housing in the suburbs so we can all share the wealth!!
    A guy once told me, "Do not have any attachments, do not have anything in your life you are not willing to walk out on in 30 seconds flat if you spot the heat around the corner."


    Neil McCauley (Robert DeNiro): Heat 1995

  3. #3
    Probably Number 1 is harder, assuming low income apts. are going to areas where the community doesn't mind. The best solution is doing both at the same time. If you build it, they will come.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian iamme's avatar
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    Your solution... how is it so different from what is already happenning in most cities in the US?

    Right now you have the middle and upper classes for the most part spurring development on the fringe of metro areas. Then you have the less well off building farther beyond where prices are lower. Your "solution" only begets more sprawl and leaves the inner city, that you claim to want to help, to rot.

    I don't claim to hold all the answers but there are more effects of an action than what you readily see will imply.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
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    Originally posted by iamme
    Your "solution" only begets more sprawl and leaves the inner city, that you claim to want to help, to rot.

    I don't claim to hold all the answers but there are more effects of an action than what you readily see will imply.
    I agree that the question being asked and the 'answers' being proposed do not look deeply enough. It is a "skin deep" solution for a much deeper problem and, therefore, cannot "cure" it.

    As an analogy, when Welfare as we know it was invented in the U.S., it was dreamed up "to help poor single moms and get them out of poverty". Now, at the time that this noble idea was concieved, relatively few babies were born out of wedlock. There was a huge social stigma attached to bastardy that really no longer exists. But that huge social stigma was due to the fact that, historically, bastardy was a horrible "life sentence" -- for the mom and the child. So, in short, "poor, single moms" were mostly WIDOWS -- what we tend to call "The Deserving Poor" -- not girls having babies out of wedlock -- what we tend to call "The Undeserving Poor".

    Focusing a program on taking care of 'poor, single moms' meant that 'poverty' and bastardy were now rewarded, rather than punished and stigmatized -- and the number of 'poor, single moms' has been a 'growth industry' under our current welfare system. (Which is not "all bad" -- it is quite complex and I am not for simply doing away with welfare as we know it overnight. But I am trying to keep this relatively short.) In other words, creating Welfare actually changed the rules -- it changed the social contract between society and women tempted to have a kid out of wedlock or men tempted to walk away from a child they had fathered out of wedlock. Simplistic "solutions" usually risk that type of outcome.

    Therefore, generally speaking, I think programs aimed at "helping The Poor" are BAD POLICY. Such policies typically reward the screw-ups of the world and punish good citizens who happen to be down on their luck and don't want to get trapped in The System. Additionally, the requirement to accept a label and prove that you fit criteria meriting the label of 'Poor' has profound psychological consequences that actually make it difficult to get that label removed. Applying to a program 'to help The Poor' and begging some total stranger to kindly stamp your forehead with the official label of "Factory Reject" can be just another nail in the coffin, leading to learned helplessness and a sense of entitlement -- like 'this country OWES ME'.

    If we quit worrying so damn much about the particular dollar amount on the piece of paper that some of our citizens collect at the end of the week (called a "paycheck") and began worrying more about creating non-discriminatory mechanisms that are inclusive of more people AND -- critically -- more forms of housing than just 'suburban tract houses', this issue would stop being so damn intractable -- in my not so humble opinion. Focusing on "The Poor" inevitably magnifies that population, literally and figuratively, in exactly the same way that Welfare did to the population of "Poor, single moms".

  6. #6

    interesting

    YOur input really got me thinking, nice analysis

  7. #7
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    Re: fragmentation in the US, let me have your input

    Originally posted by TURaj
    ... 1.) building new and better housing in inner cities to attract middle class families back to the city center? or 2.) building more affordable housing in the suburbs so low-income families could move to suburban communities? ...
    Here's my take on urban infill in the inner cities to attract revitalization:

    You're gonna have a hard time attracting middle & high income people to the inner city if they have kids. Weather deserved or not, inner cities have a reputation of higher crime & poor schools. The main type of middle/high income that is willing to come to the "inner city" are yuppies my age that don't want kids or are putting them off for a long time, unmarried people with no kids, or people that are retired and want the convenience.

    Sidenote: inner city schools can improve- Jefferson High in San Antonio went from worst-to-first literally! It was rated among the worst in the state a few years ago, but last year or the year before it was rated #2 in the state using the same criteria. The demographics in the area it served did not change during this period.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
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    Re: Re: fragmentation in the US, let me have your input

    Originally posted by Suburb Repairman
    Here's my take on urban infill in the inner cities to attract revitalization:

    You're gonna have a hard time attracting middle & high income people to the inner city if they have kids. Weather deserved or not, inner cities have a reputation of higher crime & poor schools. The main type of middle/high income that is willing to come to the "inner city" are yuppies my age that don't want kids or are putting them off for a long time, unmarried people with no kids, or people that are retired and want the convenience.
    There is a lot of truth to what you say but I think the foundation stone for such problems in the U.S. is that federal policy has many mechanisms that support the ability to purchase a single family tract house in the 'burbs and it takes extra resources of some kind to go against that grain -- whether it is more brains, more money, more flexiblity or whatever.

    The "simple" answer is to do the thing for which federal tax credits, federal mortgage insurance, etc, have created a fully developed industry for buying such properties. It is much harder to do anything else. People with kids have the least flexibility, the most risk, etc. They are bound to go for the 'lowest common denominator', whether it is their preference or not.

    TURaj, I am glad you like the analysis. Coming to such a conclusion is sort of a crisis-inducing thing, for most folks, because it usually causes them to go "Well, then, WTF can I do to help the poor if I can't make a policy to help the poor?!!!" I have wrestled with that question for a long time and I don't have any neatly packaged "answers". But let me talk about some things that DO work and that I support because they work.

    Habitat for Humanity works. It is NOT a 'charity'. It does not give anything away. It sells the houses it builds and the purchasing person also has to put in X amount of sweat equity beforehand. This effectively eliminates the screw-ups looking for a free-ride. The fact that it isn't charity means the person's self-esteem is preserved. The fact that it requires them to invest their time, labor, and money means they are treated as someone with something of value to offer, not as a 'charity case' who has to be given something because they cannot earn it. The sweat equity also leaves them with a better understanding of how a house works and helps them to maintain the place when something breaks and they cannot afford to hire a repairman. Additionally, it is a 'bottom up' organization, not a 'top down' one. They do not go into a community without the community organizing and requesting an HFH chapter to be created.

    The homeless shelter where I did my internship works better than welfare for helping poor women and their kids because it targets the problem, not the profile of person that has it. It will take men if they are part of a family with kids -- whether it is a couple or a single father, they do not discriminate on that basis. They do not take single men, for reasons having to do with safety of the kids. But, it is a much less discriminatory policy than welfare, where getting married to the father of your child disqualifies you from further aid. I think one of the worst problems with welfare is the fact that it actively discourages and punishes the involvement of the father in the lives of the mom and their kids. It smacks of that whole 'feminazi' attitude of "We don't NEED men for anything -- not even raising kids!" I think it is incredibly destructive to family values and the fabric of a community.

    Of course, that whole "feminazi" approach to 'women's rights' in this country has been just terrible -- for women, children, and the country as a whole. This country took the general attitude of "I am just as good as any man and if you would just get the F*** out of my way and quit holding me back, I could be plenty successful." That works as long as she is unmarried and childless: women who are unmarried and childless make about 97% as much as men with similar education, experience, etc. But, the minute you introduce a husband and/or kids, average wages for women plummet to about 67% of what men make. That is the same value the bible placed on a woman's labor and it hasn't changed in two thousand years. (I think the reason is that, after doing the majority of the cooking, cleaning, diapering, etc. women can only give about 2/3's as much to their jobs.)

    In Europe, where women took the approach of "please help me raise my child" and didn't bitchily alienate men and sought childcare, maternity leave, and other forms of accommodation for the fact that women bear the babies and tend to be the primary child-rearing adult in most couples, women have generally faired much better than here in the U.S. So, women in the U.S. defined "The Problem" as "The people in power -- MEN -- are discrimanating against me because of my gender. Those bastards!" (and wonder why it wasn't well recieved) and in Europe women defined The Problem as "The extra burden of pregnancy and childcare interferes with my ability to do my job the way I could before I had kids. If I could get good day care and other support, I could continue to perform well at work." which went over much better with society in general, was much more effective at actually addressing gender inequality, and did not promote divorce and single-motherhood to the degree that the American approach seems to.

    One example I can give: In Germany, ALL women -- regardless of marital status or income -- get some financial support for having a baby. This means that a married woman who has a baby is better off than a single mom who has a baby. It isn't a "damned if I do, damned if I don't" or a "pick your poison" kind of paradigm. A woman gets help if she, whoops, gets pregnant and she and the father do not choose to marry for some reason. But she has no financial incentive to CHOOSE to remain single and no financial disincentive when considering his proposal of marriage (if there is one).
    Last edited by Michele Zone; 27 Oct 2003 at 10:08 PM.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian H's avatar
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    Well let us think about this. If you build the affordable housing out in the suburbs and the current trend is to gentrify “urban” neighborhoods then in the near future we will see a “switch-a-roo” with decaying suburbs (to be truly forgotten) and wealthy cities thriving in expensive redevelopment. This is the way cities have traditional operated (as my sociology teacher described concentric circles back in school) so it is only natural to repeat. Many countries cities already operate this way.

    Income class social mixing is hard. Forcing low income in will only force high income out (or ignite larger walls around gated communities). Either way, there won’t be a lot of income mixing.

    I am not advocating, just stating what I see happening.

    Maybe a better solution is to try and revive existing communities rather than keep moving everyone around and displacing communities.
    "Those who plan do better than those who do not plan, even though they rarely stick to their plan." - Winston Churchill

  10. #10
    Cyburbian iamme's avatar
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    QUOTE]Maybe a better solution is to try and revive existing communities rather than keep moving everyone around and displacing communities.[/QUOTE]

    However here we start to run into the problems of gentrification.[

  11. #11
    Cyburbian H's avatar
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    Originally posted by iamme
    However here we start to run into the problems of gentrification.
    Revitalization and gentrification don’t have to be synonyms.
    "Those who plan do better than those who do not plan, even though they rarely stick to their plan." - Winston Churchill

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Duke Of Dystopia's avatar
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    Originally posted by iamme
    QUOTE]....However here we start to run into the problems of gentrification.[
    Gentrification is only a problem if you believe that a single group or type of person has a "right" to possession of any specific place or nieghborhood.

    Gentrification being the changing of a place from one type of demographic to another. Does this change then imply that the new demographic is "stealing" the nighborhood? Does the existing demographic have a "right" to keep change from happening?

    We talk a lot about integration of races and communities, but the concept of propinquity works against integration. Propinquity works against mixing income brackets within a race or community also. Does this mean the american goal of integrating people as one amalgamated people, who see each other as having different sports affiliations only, possible?

    I have a hunch that underlying social conditions will retard any government policy to help conditions in housing
    I can't deliver UTOPIA, but I can create a HELL for you to LIVE in :)DoD:(

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    Cyburbian Rumpy Tunanator's avatar
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    -I've got to agree with the Duke. Whats wrong with gentrification, and many people will say that it displaces a community. Well neighborhoods change, whether its one ethnic group moving out of a neighborhood and being replaced by another ethnic group. The only way I could see it being a negative is if the people being forced out of the neighborhood due to housing becoming owner-occupied again, had no other place to go. Sure this does happen sometimes.
    -On the other side, the neighborhood improves because owners are investing in the homes and community, bringing the neighborhood back to its original character. Whats wrong with that? Tax base increases and crime tends to go down in certain areas.
    -The one thing that bothered me was the whole Urban renewal scheme of the 60's. Basically the clearance of cheap housing and Skid Rows forced many people onto the streets and into crappy public housing projects. Telling someone that the home they live in (or apt.) is not acceptable, and forcing them to live in drab concrete fortresses was not a solution to the problem. Why don't we tear down trailer parks then. Oh wait thats what tornadoes are for.
    A guy once told me, "Do not have any attachments, do not have anything in your life you are not willing to walk out on in 30 seconds flat if you spot the heat around the corner."


    Neil McCauley (Robert DeNiro): Heat 1995

  14. #14
    Cyburbian iamme's avatar
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    Whoa, Whoa, Whoa - A lot of words have been put in my mouth, and they don't belong there.

    I never made any comment saying whether gentrification is good or bad.

    I just stated that it does have downsides. As with any action, the good and bad have to be weighed to judge properly. I was just hoping that this was not left out of the discussion.

    As for this:
    Gentrification is only a problem if you believe that a single group or type of person has a "right" to possession of any specific place or nieghborhood.
    I am just looking from the area that this is just really shifting problems, not solving them. (Note: I am not necessarily saying that the goal of gentrification is to better poorer people's lives, only stating a problem with it.)

  15. #15
    Cyburbian Duke Of Dystopia's avatar
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    Originally posted by iamme
    .....I am just looking from the area that this is just really shifting problems, not solving them. (Note: I am not necessarily saying that the goal of gentrification is to better poorer people's lives, only stating a problem with it.)
    Don't get nervous I understand that it was just included in the subject.

    You braught up a subject to which I have put long thought into. Unfortunatly, I think the idea of how to handle this and have freedom of choice is impossible.

    The practical effect of doing something about housing and low income people is dispersion. Spread them out far enough so they don't cause problems. This is not possible since you can't force others to stay in place and you can't force others to get up and move for a social experiment.

    The theoretical problem from my viewpoint of this discussion is that there is a jaundeced view that a group of people out in the general populace is performing and achieving at a substandard level. How would you then "help" them. how do you teach decision making?

    Another theoretical issue is how do you force an affluent section of society to want to spend significant portions of thier life side by side with a social group or culture they may be at logerheads with? Very touchy subject, I know. I am not convinced that most people in the US feel the burning need to be culturaly diverse, and you can't make it a requirement.

    Solve those issues, and you have a real possibility of solving our unending issue with class, economics, and race.

    I do know I do not have the answere but I am going to keep looking

    What happens if there isn't one? :|
    I can't deliver UTOPIA, but I can create a HELL for you to LIVE in :)DoD:(

  16. #16
    Cyburbian H's avatar
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    Originally posted by Duke Of Dystopia
    What happens if there isn't one? :|
    And there might not be. I used to think the lack of “mixing” was a racial/prejudice issue, but I don’t anymore. I think it is an economic issue. People who can afford big luxurious homes don’t want to live next to people who cant (regardless of race) and the US does not (nor should they) have the ability or right to force them to.

    Again, I think the solution is investing in the lower economic areas more heavily, educating the community and rebuilding the local economic base. Moving people around is a shortsighted solution and doesn’t do anyone good in the long run. What is the old adage, “teach a man to fish”…
    "Those who plan do better than those who do not plan, even though they rarely stick to their plan." - Winston Churchill

  17. #17
    > People with kids have the least flexibility, the most risk, etc. They are bound to go for the 'lowest common denominator', whether it is their preference or not <


    I totally agree. I think if a root-cause analysis were done on why people settle for and settle down in the suburbs, it would boil down to risk. People are risk averse, especially so when it involves the security of their family.

    A house is the single biggest financial asset most people will ever have....to preserve property values, it'd better be 3 BR, 2BA in a good school district, with rules preventing crazy neighbors from purple paint. The suburbs are safe. By contrast, building/buying a home in an urban environment can be a huge risk. Who's to know if the area is on the upswing, what the neighbors will be like, if another half-way house will be built down the block? It's crazy to make your single biggest purchase in an uncertain environment like that...

    Nor does anyone want to put their family at risk for harm. They want their kids to be able to play outside and to not have to worry about having their house broken into at night. Again, the suburbs are supposed to be safer than the city...though there's never any guarantee.

    As for schools, everyone wants the best for their kids. Can't risk a poor public school system, be that poor in the sense of test scores or number of free lunches. Even if magnet schools are an option, what if your kid doesn't make it in? So again, out to the burbs where all the schools are decent, everyone is middle class, and parents aspire for their children a college level education.

    The burbs are popular because they're safe. A safe investment, a safe environment, a safe education.

    Oh yes, and most everyone else is like you...not that I think that's a bad thing. People want to be able to relate to those around them. For example, I didn't put my daughter in my first choice daycare because her class would've been all boys except for her. It's uncomfortable being the only poor/rich/gay/straight/white/black person on the block.

    I think the question of affordable housing and revitalizing cities needs to be addressed from both ends of the spectrum. Mitigate the risk and make the urban core more attractive to the suburban demographic. Create more affordable housing choices on the fringes. Mix it up and make the same levels of safety and affordablilty available everywhere

    .....I can dream, can't I?

  18. #18
    Cyburbian jresta's avatar
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    Big cities have no problem attracting wealthy and upper middle class people. If you leave in Philly you only need to walk around Rittenhouse, Society Hill, Spruce Hill, Chestnut Hill, Mt. Airy, Bella Vista, Logan Circle, Manayunk, Roxborough, Fox Chase, Cedar Park, etc, etc, to realize this - these are all neighborhoods where people continue to move in and property values continue to climb. And you shouldn't expect to find anything over 1000 sq. ft. for less than $200k in any of those neighborhoods (maybe with the exception of Roxborough).
    The same goes for Boston, New York, DC, San Francisco, Seattle, etc.

    Spruce Hill and that whole University City area continues to "gentrify" but is more diverse now than it was 10 years ago. There is nothing good about economic segregation Gentrification, code word for "white people with money moving into my neighborhood" is only bad when it displaces long time residents who don't want to leave or when seniors are forced to move because they can no longer afford the property taxes.

    There are obvious solutions to this problem that don't have to break the budget. One of them is to identify the neighborhoods with obvious development pressures. Home ownership programs can target a specific neighborhood or block. A certain number of low/mod units can be identified. Real steps, for which state and federal resources are already available can be taken to ensure that most of the people who want to stay in the 'hood can and that the people who own and want to leave can do so on their own terms.

    I've said this before but Philly has an almost 60% home ownership rate. Some SEPTA bus driver who bought his house in South Philly for $17k in 1972 is getting ready for retirement and finds out that some young Center City couple is willing to pay $150k for it. That's a cash payment for a new house in Florida.
    Take a look at the city's website http://brtweb.phila.gov/index.aspx
    See what your neighbors bought and sold for. Gentrification isn't lose/lose.
    Indeed you can usually tell when the concepts of democracy and citizenship are weakening. There is an increase in the role of charity and in the worship of volunteerism. These represent the élite citizen's imitation of noblesse oblige; that is, of pretending to be aristocrats or oligarchs, as opposed to being citizens.

  19. #19
    Cyburbian iamme's avatar
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    The practical effect of doing something about housing and low income people is dispersion. Spread them out far enough so they don't cause problems. This is not possible since you can't force others to stay in place and you can't force others to get up and move for a social experiment.
    What if instead of building housing projects, even mixed ones, you use rent vouchers more extensively. You set the tenants' payment to 30%(or another appropriate %) of their income. Cap the subsidy at a reasonable amount for the locality. You allow them to be used anywhere, and mandate that people renting cannot discriminate in part or whole based on the use of these vouchers.

    Here you are allowing people to choose where they want to live, if an area is undesirable, they won't look for a house there.

    Since this is not limited to a set area, concentrations of poverty are not as likely to form as a result of a public housing program.

    Also, this might at least make a dent in the economic segregation that is so dominant in today's housing.

    P.S. - I understand political realities are not aligned around this subject. Jim and Jill Joneses most likely don't care.

    __________________________________________

    Sorry, don't want to have a half dozen posts.

    Again, I think the solution is investing in the lower economic areas more heavily, educating the community and rebuilding the local economic base. Moving people around is a shortsighted solution and doesn’t do anyone good in the long run. What is the old adage, “teach a man to fish”…
    I will say up front that I do not have the experience to know if this happens on a wide scale or not but, in my experience, when you do "educate the community" with better schools, "rebuild the economic base" with more jobs, and "invest in the lower economic areas" through public or private means, this begets gentrification. Again, which pushes out those that need the most help. (I.E. Those that can't afford a home, those that can't afford the higher taxes, basically people that are poor or are earning small amounts of money.)
    Last edited by iamme; 29 Oct 2003 at 1:38 PM.

  20. #20
    Cyburbian jresta's avatar
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    Originally posted by iamme
    I will say up front that I do not have the experience to know if this happens on a wide scale or not but, in my experience, when you do "educate the community" with better schools, "rebuild the economic base" with more jobs, and "invest in the lower economic areas" through public or private means, this begets gentrification. Again, which pushes out those that need the most help. (I.E. Those that can't afford a home, those that can't afford the higher taxes, basically people that are poor or are earning small amounts of money.)

    I worked in Camden, NJ and then Chester, PA. Both the poorest cities in their respective states. In both places most people just wanted to get some money and get out. They want a white picket fence in the suburbs too. When you ask the high school kids where they want to live when they get older they already have it all figured out. If they don't mention a far off city they'll tell you the name of the suburban town and maybe even the neighborhood.

    My point here is that, when people's lives improve and poor families from the city move into the middle class they do what every other immigrant group before them has done. They move to the 'burbs and into the mainstream. When major social investments are made people's lives improve, neighborhoods improve and that makes it more attractive to investors. Homeowners see the opportunity to take the money and run and they do just that.
    Indeed you can usually tell when the concepts of democracy and citizenship are weakening. There is an increase in the role of charity and in the worship of volunteerism. These represent the élite citizen's imitation of noblesse oblige; that is, of pretending to be aristocrats or oligarchs, as opposed to being citizens.

  21. #21
    jzt83's avatar
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    I've lived in a low income apartment in Portland, OR right in the middle of an urban yupyville. It was in the hip and arsty area known as the Pearl district. The area had a mix of low income and market level apts, with monthly rents ranging from 300-3000+. The apt I lived in had many types of people from sect 8 to college students. There were no problems whatsoever with the tenants, nor were any yuppies upset. The apts were nice and clean, but basic. Everyone lived in harmony. Why can't other communitties do the same? If it can be done in Portland it can be done in other cities as well. The government just has to provide quality housing, not some crapy box. Not all government housing has to be "ghetto".

  22. #22
    Cyburbian H's avatar
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    Originally posted by iamme
    I will say up front that I do not have the experience to know if this happens on a wide scale or not but, in my experience, when you do "educate the community" with better schools, "rebuild the economic base" with more jobs, and "invest in the lower economic areas" through public or private means, this begets gentrification. Again, which pushes out those that need the most help. (I.E. Those that can't afford a home, those that can't afford the higher taxes, basically people that are poor or are earning small amounts of money.)
    Okay, but I will say here that affordable housing can be “kept” on the same methods that you would use to “add” it in the ‘burbs.
    "Those who plan do better than those who do not plan, even though they rarely stick to their plan." - Winston Churchill

  23. #23

    Fragmentation and equity

    Also from the Philly region - Montco. It seems to me that the bigger problem with this is that the two questions cannot be addressed together. What goes on in the city is still seen as not relating to what happens in the city, and vise versa. Until we can deal with the regional dynamics that lead to the problem, and can really get people to think of themselves as part of a region, not just their little town, we're only attacking part of the
    problem.

    People who can afford big luxurious homes don’t want to live next to people who cant (regardless of race) and the US does not (nor should they) have the ability or right to force them to
    It's not a matter of requiring individuals to live one place or another, but of making a range of choices available. Will some choose to live in segregated communities? YES. But if we undo the structures that [I]require[\I] segregation, then people will also choose to live in mixed communities, both urban and suburban.

  24. #24
    Member Wulf9's avatar
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    Creating inequitable communities is one of the reasons we continue to have zoning in an era where government is under so much attack. House owners want to live amongst a lot of other house owners just like themselves and to export those not like themselves to some nether part of the state, county, or city. When zoning gets weakened, we have those other people living nearby.

    However, in the small rural town model, which is sort of an ideal held by most suburbanites, everyone had to live in town. That actually works pretty well.

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