Sacramento's Tale of Two Downtowns

Northern California is no stranger to debates about redevelopment, displacement, and the proper mix of affordable and market-rate housing—but this time the setting for these stories is in the state capital of Sacramento.
July 11, 2014, 2pm PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Andrew Zarivny

In Sacramento, writes Rachel Dovey, "inequality is characterized by two downtowns."

First "[there’s] the state capitol, a 9-to-5 employer of government officials and six-figure lobbyists marked by sleek mid-rises with tinted windows."

Then there's the second downtown, which "has one of the lowest median incomes in Sacramento according to Census Bureau numbers — $29,000 compared to $50,000 citywide. Twenty-eight percent of its residents are below the national poverty line compared to 20 percent across the city, and nearly all of them rent their homes."

Dovey cites a June 27 settlement between Sacramento’s state and city governments over the revitalization of K Street (once a casualty of the state's contentiously aborted redevelopment efforts) as an example of a new wave of development ready to brush aside the residents of Sacramento's second downtown. Dovey also samples the other projects and voices at the center of the ongoing debate over the future of Sacramento's urban core.

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Published on Thursday, July 3, 2014 in Next City
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