Cities No Longer Need Help

Joel Kotkin argues that most U.S. cities that were struggling in the '60s and '70s have forged a comeback and should no longer need the sort of redevelopment and federal attention they've been given.
January 21, 2011, 11am PST | Tim Halbur
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Kotkin explains his usual position that smaller, less dense urban areas and suburbs have been the true engines of growth, and urban cores are facing massive debt problems and far too much political attention. He sees the shift in power in Congress to more suburban-based Republicans as an opportunity to change direction.

Citing Christopher Leinberger, he says that the redevelopment of downtowns, for better or worse, has had its intended effect:

"As they have developed somewhat stronger downtown cores, lowered crime rates and reduced 'white flight,' the stronger urban cores are better positioned now, though perhaps less so than the boosters believe, to succeed on a market-oriented basis."

He concludes, "Cities need to break their reliance on outside help from a country that is, for the most part, not dense or urban."

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Published on Friday, January 21, 2011 in New Geography
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