Cities without Suburbs: A Census 2010 Perspective

Cities without Suburbs: A Census 2010 Perspective

by David Rusk

Paperback(fourth edition)

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Cities without Suburbs, first published in 1993, has influenced analysis of America's cities by city planners, scholars, and citizens alike. David Rusk, the former mayor of Albuquerque, argues that America must end the isolation of the central city from the suburbs if it is to solve its urban problems.

Rusk’s analysis, extending back to 1950, covers all metropolitan areas in the United States but focuses on the 137 largest metro areas and their principal central cities. He finds that cities that were trapped within old boundaries during the age of sprawl have suffered severe racial segregation and the emergence of an urban underclass; but cities with annexation powers—termed "elastic" by Rusk—have shared in area-wide development.

The fourth edition updates Rusk’s argument using the 2010 Census and the American Community Survey. It provides new material on the difference between population trends and household trends, the impact of Hispanic immigration, and the potential for city-county consolidation. The fourth edition also brings added emphasis to "elasticity mimics"—a variety of intergovernmental policies that can provide some of the benefits of regional consolidation efforts in situations where annexation and consolidation are impossible.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781938027048
Publisher: Woodrow Wilson Center Press
Publication date: 08/20/2013
Edition description: fourth edition
Pages: 178
Sales rank: 619,923
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

David Rusk is an independent consultant on urban and suburban policy. He is the author of Baltimore Unbound: A Strategy for Regional Renewal and Inside Game/Outside Game: Winning Strategies for Saving Urban America.

Table of Contents

List of Boxes x

List of Tables xii

Preface xvi

Acknowledgments xxi

Introduction: Framing the Issue 1

1 Lessons from Urban America 7

Lesson 1 The Real City Is the Total Metropolitan Area-City and Suburb 7

Lesson 2 Most of America's Blacks, Hispanics, and Asians Live in Metro Areas 9

Lesson 3 Since World War H, Most Urban Growth Has Been Low Density, Suburban Style 9

Lesson 4 For a City's Population to Grow, the City Must Be Elastic 11

Lesson 5 Almost All Metro Areas Have Grown 17

Lesson 6 Low-Density Cities Can Grow through Infill; High-Density Cities Cannot 20

Lesson 7 Elastic Cities Expand Their City Limits; Inelastic Cities Do Not 21

Lesson 8 Bad State Laws Can Hobble Cities 23

Lesson 9 Neighbors Can Trap Cities 25

Lesson 10 Old Cities Are Complacent; Young Cities Are Ambitious 27

Lesson 11 Racial Prejudice Has Shaped Growth Patterns 31

Lesson 12 Elastic Cities "Capture" Suburban Population Growth; Inelastic Cities "Contribute" to Suburban Population Growth 34

Lesson 13 Elastic Cities Gain Population; Inelastic Cities Lose Population 36

Lesson 14 Shrinking Household Size Understates Elastic Cities' Gains While Overstating Inelastic Cities' Losses 37

Lesson 15 Inelastic Areas Are More Segregated Than Elastic Areas 41

Lesson 16 Major Immigration Increases Hispanic Segregation 44

Lesson 17 Highly Racially Segregated Regions Are Also Highly Economically Segregated Regions 46

Lesson 18 Inelastic Cities Have Wide Income Gaps with Their Suburbs; Elastic Cities Maintain Greater City-Suburb Balance 47

Lesson 19 Poverty Is More Disproportionately Concentrated in Inelastic Cities Than in Elastic Cities 47

Lesson 20 Little Boxes Regions Foster Segregation; Big Box Regions Facilitate Integration 50

Lesson 21 Little Boxes School Districts Foster Segregation; Big Box School Districts Facilitate Integration 53

Lesson 22 Inelastic Areas Were Harder Hit by Deindustrialization of the American Labor Market 55

Lesson 23 Elastic Areas Had Faster Rates of Nonfactory Job Creation Than Did Inelastic Areas 57

Lesson 24 Elastic Areas Showed Greater Real Income Gains Than Inelastic Areas 57

Lesson 25 Elastic Cities Have Better Bond Ratings Than Inelastic Cities 59

Lesson 26 Elastic Areas Have a Higher-Educated Workforce Than Inelastic Areas 61

Conclusion 61

2 Characteristics of Metropolitan Areas 69

The Point of (Almost) No Return 105

Cities without Suburbs 111

3 Strategies for Sketching Cities 123

Three Essential Regional Policies 123

Metro Government: A Definition 127

State Government's Crucial Role 127

Federal Government: Leveling the Playing Field 148

4 Conclusion 167

Appendix A Successful City-County Consolidations 177

Appendix B Potential City-County Consolidations 179

Sources 187

Index 189

Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars 201

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