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Posts tagged cities

Andy:

New York and other top cities—including Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Boston—have been suffering the largest net out-migration of residents of virtually all places in the country, albeit the pattern has slowed with the recession.

It’s astonishing that, even with the many improvements over the past decade in New York, for example, more residents left its five boroughs for other locales in 2006 than in 1993, when the city was in demonstrably far worse shape. In 2006, the city had a net loss of 153,828 residents through domestic out-migration, compared to a decline of 141,047 in 1993, with every borough except Brooklyn experiencing a higher number of out-migrants in 2006.

Since the 1990s virtually all the gains made in the New York economy have accrued to the highest income earners. Overall, New York has the smallest share of middle-income families in the nation, according to a recent Brookings Institution study; its proportion of middle-income neighborhoods was smaller than any metropolitan area, except for Los Angeles. . . .

[M]iddle-class sensibilities get short shrift by urban scholars such as Richard Florida, who argue that in the so-called “creative age” places of residence should be “leased” like cars. In his mind, single-family homes, the ideal of homeownership, should be replaced “by a new kind of housing” that embraces higher forms of density without long-term commitment to a particular residence or location.

In fact, the sustainable city of the future will depend precisely on commitment and long-term residents. It also will rest on the revival of traditional institutions that have faded in many of today’s cities. Churches—albeit often in reinvented form—help maintain and nurture such communities. Similarly, extended family networks will be critical to future successful urban areas. As Queens resident and real estate agent Judy Markowitz puts it, “In Manhattan people with kids have nannies. In Queens, we have grandparents.”

song from Playing for Change, directed by Jonathan Walls and Whitney Burditt :: via Boing Boing
Nate:
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image from Case study homes, 2008, by Peter Bialobrzeski, L.A. Galerie, Frankfurt, Germany, 27 March–23 May 2009 :: via Boing Boing
Nate:
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from "lost neighborhoods," James D. Griffioen :: via more than 95 theses
Andy:

from "tweenbots," by kacie kinzer :: via Charlie Park
Andy:
excerpt Turnover
Andy:

Economic vitality may rely on a fast-paced lifestyle of risk and reward. But the creative class of one generation gives way to the next when they burn out and seek refuge in the suburbs. Just ask city pastors. This is the problem they struggle to solve. Turnover gives urban churches wide national influence. Ironically, it also undermines local community. So the very bonds of fellowship that attract young people to urban churches in the first place eventually dissolve when members lose their resolve to stay in the city.

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from "We're All Gonna Die — 100 meters of existence"," by Simon Høgsberg
Andy:

Our property seems to me the most beautiful in the world. It is so close to Babylon that we enjoy all the advantages of the city, and yet when we come home we are away from all the noise and dust.

—Letter to the King of Persia, 539 B.C., quoted in Kenneth Jackson, Crabgrass Frontier, p. 12

Andy:

In 1982, the neighborhood surrounding Harambee Center had the highest daytime crime rate in Southern California. The corner of Howard and Navarro, where we are located, was called “blood corner” because it was where the most drive-by shootings and failed drug deals occurred. Residents were held captive in their homes and there was little hope for change.

We believed the only legitimate way to become change-agents in this community was to become a part of it. Led by our founder, Dr. John Perkins, we moved into the community and became neighbors. For 20+ years we have served a 12-block target area, working with African American and Latino children and families.

“Harambee” means “Let’s get together and push” in Swahili. We seek to nurture and equip leadership that will wholistically minister to the community by sharing Biblical truths, in order to achieve the re-building of urban neighborhoods through relocation, reconciliation and redistribution.

 

from "Benched," by Brandon McCormick :: via Jeff Shinabarger
Andy:
Andy:
Making the Best of It

It is interesting . . . to ask what Lewis thought about cities, those symbols of human social life. Wesley Kort avers, “While Lewis affirms the importance of social spaces that accommodate and stimulate the potentials of persons and grant to persons a sense of being a home, he offers no realistic models of social space equivalent to those he gives for personal spaces and open landscapes.” Compare also the testimonial of Helen Gardner, as Meilander introduces it: “Despite the fact that much of his [academic] work concerned the debt of English literature to the literature of the Renaissance, no vision of ‘cities, large and small, with splendid public monuments’ ever played a large role in his imagination. For Lewis, she suggests, the simple loyalties of the comitatus were never replaced by the more complex loyalties of the ‘city.’” . . .

London itself appears in the Narnia chronicles, but always as negative (particularly in The Magician’s Nephew, but it is also war-torn London from which the children must be sent away in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe as well). All of the other cities in the Narnia chronicles are evil—from Charn to Calormen. Hell itself is a city in The Great Divorce, but Heaven is a countryside. I shall leave as homework for Lewis aficionados this question: does anything good happen in a city in any of Lewis’s writings? One wonders if C. S. Lewis himself stood in need of some imaginative conversion by the Bible’s own images of the New Jerusalem.

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from "Tunnel of Beauty," by Jeff Shinabarger, 21 July 2008
Andy:
Andy:
from The End of White Flight, by Conor Dougherty, WSJ.com, 19 July 2008

Today, cities are refashioning themselves as trendy centers devoid of suburban ills like strip malls and long commutes. In Atlanta, which has among the longest commute times of any U.S. city, the white population rose by 26,000 between 2000 and 2006, while the black population decreased by 8,900. Overall the white proportion has increased to 35% in 2006 from 31% in 2000.

In other cities, whites are still leaving, but more blacks are moving out. Boston lost about 6,000 black residents between 2000 and 2006, but only about 3,000 whites. In 2006, whites accounted for 50.2% of the city’s population, up from 49.5% in 2000. That’s the first increase in roughly a century.

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Panel 3, from "The Migration Series", paintings by Jacob Lawrence, on exhibition at the Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C. :: via Dayo Olopade, TheRoot.com
Andy:
Andy:
from "No Babies?," by Russell Shorto, The New York Times Magazine, 29 June 2008

There would seem to be two models for achieving higher fertility: the neosocialist Scandinavian system and the laissez-faire American one. Aassve put it to me this way: “You might say that in order to promote fertility, your society needs to be generous or flexible. The U.S. isn’t very generous, but it is flexible. Italy is not generous in terms of social services and it’s not flexible. There is also a social stigma in countries like Italy, where it is seen as less socially accepted for women with children to work. In the U.S., that is very accepted.”