Magazine article The Wilson Quarterly

The Inside-Out City

Magazine article The Wilson Quarterly

The Inside-Out City

Article excerpt

THE SOURCE: "Trading Places" by Alan Ehrenhalt, in The New Republic, Aug. 13, 2008.

REMEMBER THE BREATHLESS spate of news stories when the first few couples moved into converted department stores in downtowns across America about a decade ago? Debunkers of this trend have pointed out the minuscule numbers ever since. Even so, writes Alan Ehrenhalt, executive editor of Governing magazine, cities are truly undergoing a complicated and profound "demographic inversion."

Central cities are becoming lighter in hue and deeper in pockets. Atlanta is shifting from an overwhelmingly black city to one where African Americans are teetering on the verge of minority status. Before September 11, 2001, about 25,000 people lived south of the World Trade Center in Manhattan. Now the same area is home to 50,000. Charlotte, North Carolina, has 12,000 people living downtown, and will have more when its supply of homes catches up with demand. Vancouver, British Columbia, houses 20 percent of its 600,000 residents in two square miles at the city's heart.

Chicago, "Hog Butcher for the World, Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat," is becoming like 19th-century Vienna, where the people who can afford it five close to the center, and the poor and newcomers live on the outskirts, writes Ehrenhalt of the city where his grandfather operated a tailor shop on the site of what is now the University of Illinois science complex. Not even assistant professors live near the campus now. Too expensive. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.