The Divided City: Poverty and Prosperity in Urban America

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The divide between rich and poor within legacy cities, a.k.a. rust belt cities, is in substantial part due to the racial disparity between black and white citizens. In its present form since the years following World War II, urban neighborhoods where blacks had set down roots and approached middle-class standing were razed, almost indiscriminately, to make way for highways and modern ‘improvements.’ Discrimination has left legacy cities grappling with diminishing populations, suburbs drawing from the lifeblood of the earlier centers of urban life. Gentrification, author Alan Mallach observes cynically, is not feasible where empty space in abandoned neighborhoods has left nothing to gentrify.

In one compelling section, Eds and Meds, Mallach questions the future of cities whose economy thrives on the current success of universities and medical centers now providing plentiful jobs. But with both settings challenged by spiraling costs, perhaps the young grads who stay close will foster the best hope of their continued prosperity. Only viable long-term policy decisions will offer an option for the restoration and improvement of those cities for which Mallach details statistics. Despite their overall bleak situation, he remains upbeat, his book valuable, demonstrating how eloquent number crunching can be designed to provide a human view.


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Author Alan Mallach
Star Count 5/5
Format Trade
Page Count 344 pages
Publisher Island Press
Publish Date 2018-Jun-12
ISBN 9781610917810
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue September 2018
Category Science & Nature
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