Philadelphia: Neighborhoods, Division, and Conflict in a Postindustrial City

By Carolyn Adams; David Bartelt et al. | Go to book overview

Series Preface

The Comparative American Cities series grew out of a need for more comparative scholarly works on America's urban areas in the post-World War II era. American cities are storehouses of potential assets and liabilities for their residents and for society as a whole. It is important that scholars examine the nation's metropolitan areas to assess trends that may affect economic and political decision-making in the future.

The books have a contemporary approach, with the post- World War II period providing historical antecedents for current concerns. Each book generally addresses the same issues, although the peculiarities of the local environments necessarily shape each account. The major areas of concern include uneven regional development, white middle-class suburbanization, residential segregation of races and classes, and central-city issues such as economic disinvestment, black political power, and the concentration of blacks, Hispanics, and the poor. Each city in the series is viewed within the context of its metropolitan area as a whole. Taken together, these studies describe the spatial redistribution of wealth within the metropolises--the economic decline of central cities and the economic rise of the suburbs--a redistribution facilitated by the massive construction of interstate highways in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s.

Since World War II the metropolitan areas included in this series have been increasingly affected by uneven economic and social development and by conflict between cities and suburbs and between the white majority and the growing nonwhite minority. The central cities of each metropolitan area have also been losing jobs to the suburbs. There has been a tendency toward growing income inequality between cities and suburbs and between blacks and whites. Economic growth and decline have followed closely the racial composition of neighborhoods--that is, black neighborhoods have declined, while white neighborhoods have generally grown.

All of these studies asses the ways central-city governments have responded to these issues. In recent years most central-city elected officials have attempted to provide services and employment opportunities on a more equitable basis and to implement a more balanced and progressive economic development agenda. Most central-city mayors have been elected with the strong support of minorities, and the mayors have often cooperated with the business elite in attempts to stimulate more economic growth and

-xiii-

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Philadelphia: Neighborhoods, Division, and Conflict in a Postindustrial City
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • COMPARATIVE AMERICAN CITIES ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • List of Tables and Figures vii
  • Preface xi
  • Series Preface xiii
  • 1 - The Legacy of the Industrial City 3
  • 2 - Economic Erosion and the Growth of Inequality 30
  • 3 - Housing and Neighborhoods 66
  • 4 - Philadelphia's Redevelopment Process 100
  • 5 - Race, Class, and Philadelphia Politics 124
  • 6 - The Prospects for City-Suburban Accommodation 154
  • 7 - Alternative Scenarios for Philadelphia's Future 175
  • Appendixes 183
  • Notes 189
  • Index 203
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