We hear a lot about the potential evils of hipsters, coffee shops, and bicycles, along with murky allegations of displacement by gentrification, levied by activists and academics.
We hear far less about the thousands of primarily black middle class residents moving from previously stable urban middle class neighborhoods to the suburbs every year displacement by decline , while the poor are left behind in crumbling communities, trapped in concentrated generational poverty. So, this book provides a much-needed corrective to the conventional media wisdom about cities. A few cities, primarily the largest and most-influential coastal ones, are firing on nearly all cylinders, economically speaking.
There are a fair number of newer cities, primarily in the sunbelt, that are also doing quite well - although it will remain to be seen whether this will be the case in a few decades, when the sheen begins to wear off, or when the water runs out. But there are many other places, primarily in the Rust Belt, where evidence of the 21st century urban revival is patchy, scant, or non-existent. This book reminds us that cities are dynamic, fluid, and geographically diverse places, which are revitalizing in some areas and declining in others. The relative proportion of resurgence to decay varies greatly from city to city, and this is where Mallach appropriately spends much of his time.
It discusses the ways in which the health care and education economy has affected these cities, ranging from Pittsburgh, where it has been transformative; to Baltimore, where the results are a bit more mixed; to cities like Youngstown, where it helps keep the ship afloat, but just barely - and the water is rapidly pouring in. Is an economy that runs on these sectors really enough to sustain equitable economic growth? It is nice to see someone ask, and at least begin to wrestle with, these questions.
This book also provides a thorough, nuanced, and much-needed discussion about race and concentrated poverty. The untold urban story of this still-young century is how segregation, urban decline, abandonment, and disinvestment has never been worse in the hundreds of neighborhoods that are overwhelmingly black and poor. Today, there is a palpable cynicism and fatalism, even among left-leaning urbanists, which simply believes that it cannot be done.
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Across the political spectrum, we seem to have resigned ourselves to racial segregation. And while the right has always resisted these efforts, even people on the center-left have largely given up on any type of economic integration that involves creating opportunities for the poor to live in better housing, closer to jobs, in affluent suburbs. Meanwhile, people on the far-left are increasingly hostile to the notion that the affluent should move back to the urban core to live near the poor. Which brings us to gentrification - a word that neither Mallach, nor I, particularly care for, because different people use it to mean so many things.
The discussion here provides a much-needed reality-check. Mallach, whose social equity credentials are impeccable, is not at all unsympathetic to concerns about displacement in revitalizing areas. But he makes a powerful case that, particularly in the Rust Belt, these concerns more often boil down to worries about what could be, rather than serve as a realistic assessment of what is.
He explains, at length, why the changes that are occurring in a handful of gentrifying neighborhoods in cities like Cleveland, Detroit, and Milwaukee, are on balance, good for these places, and also makes the point that these positive changes are dwarfed by the economic and social decline that is happening elsewhere in these cities. Instead, gentrification typically follows a pattern of Black and Hispanic neighborhood avoidance. While some of the change was due to these same households losing income, there is no doubt, based on the data, that much of the change was due to black families decamping for safer, more attractive neighborhoods in the suburbs.
One of the most important threads that runs throughout this entire book is the far-too-often overlooked fact that neighborhoods change.
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They are never truly sitting still, and they cannot be preserved in amber. The Nepali neighborhood used to be the Italian neighborhood. The black neighborhood used to be the white neighborhood. The poor neighborhood used to be the middle-class neighborhood.
The wealthy neighborhood used to be the working-class neighborhood. Neighborhoods change when Republicans are in charge, and they change when Democrats are in charge. With foresight, outreach, empathy, and wisdom, neighborhood change can be managed in ways that promote justice and equity, but the change itself will not stop.
Most neighborhoods are somewhere along a continuum between getting better and getting worse. To ask other readers questions about Gundam Wing Divided we fall , please sign up. Be the first to ask a question about Gundam Wing Divided we fall. Lists with This Book.
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Sort order. There are no discussion topics on this book yet. About Johnny Johnson. Johnny Johnson. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman. Buchanan, the house wing nut, finds all this moderation frustrating; he began as a peripheral figure in the Nixon White House, a political gunslinger perhaps a bit too hot for the high-rent nuances of governance. But Nixon sensed that Buchanan was onto something much bigger than vitriol, a new grand strategy for the Republican Party, a new majority anchored by the white working class, not just in the South, but also in the Northern ethnic, mostly Catholic, enclaves.
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It has made him one of the most consequential conservatives of the past half-century. Buchanan was born in Washington, D. He celebrates ancestors who fought for the Confederacy, but his most enduring loyalty is to the conservative Catholic Church of the s — the church schools he attended, the Knights of Columbus, the Legion of Decency, Sodality and the Holy Name Society.
Louis Globe-Democrat. He was astonished by the s. Well-off draft dodgers offended him; the New York construction workers who beat up the protesters were his team.