November 2011 Archives

American Metropolitics: The New Suburban Reality

After World War II, Congress authorized the building of the interstate highway system and subsidized mortgage loans for returning servicemen and their families. The result? The "American Dream" of the suburbs--a massive social engineering project that encouraged middle-class whites to abandon the inner city and move to brand-new bedroom communities.

Now, these first-ring suburbs are in a state of simultaneous decline. Crumbling infrastructure, struggling schools, abandoned strip malls, home foreclosures, and an eroding tax base have hit them hard. The very policies that built the first-ring suburbs 60 years ago are now moving their former prosperity and stability out to the metro's edge.

Join Myron Orfield, a nationally recognized expert in land use and regional governance, as he explores the economic, environmental, and social consequences of America's aging first-ring suburbs.

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