The 'Great Migration' in Reverse

African Americans in the North are reversing the trend set by their parents and grandparents by migrating back to the South. This post from <em>Grist</em> looks at the impact on communities and urbanism.
July 2, 2011, 5am PDT | Nate Berg
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A major part of this demographic shift is those nearing or already at the age of retirement.

"For the retirement age folks, it means that we need to work on encouraging tactics such as agrarian urbanism. This way, people can have some semblance of a small-town life without giving up the idea of retiring to a farm, and mobility if they can't drive anymore or never learned to drive. For young people, it means to continue to advocate for places to go. Speaking for my friends and myself, we love having urban amenities like city parks, free concerts, and also lounge-style places to have a drink, maybe dance, and have great conversations with each other.

Planners, architects, engineers, and municipal officials should make sure that community organizations and neighborhood groups can express concerns and even participate in the design of retrofitted and new developments. I think these new migrants would welcome bike lanes, increased bus and train service, and community gathering spots that are community- and not corporate-owned. The key is to make sure these plans are presented in language that they understand."

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Published on Thursday, June 30, 2011 in Grist
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