The Suburbanization of Chicago

With the Second City experiencing a 7% decline in the population over the past decade, the newly elected Mayor Rahm Emmanuel must adapt to a suburban-dominated environment.
March 2, 2011, 11am PST | Shay Kahen
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Ironically, the new Mayor is the first mayor of Chicago to grow up in a suburb. He faces major challenges according to Dennis Byrne.

"But Emanuel faces the deeper economic and political challenges of increasing suburban dominance. Chicago will become a smaller player on a bigger stage. The suburbs, including vast new landscapes in McHenry, Kendall and Will counties, will compete with Chicago and consume increasing amounts of the region's and state's resources... Mutually assured destruction or coexistence will be Chicago's ultimate choice in the city/suburban 'cold war.'

A real "back-to-the-city" movement would require Emanuel - and city planners - to examine what city emigrants seek in the suburbs. Not just better schools and safety, items that top Emanuel's priority list. There's more: space, freshness, local libraries, neighborhood schools."

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Published on Tuesday, March 1, 2011 in Chicago Tribune
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