Ferguson Conflict Provides Lessons in Suburban Poverty

A post by Brookings explains how the racial tensions and violent clashes between police and protestors in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson are a symptom of common contemporary archetype: the impoverished suburb.
a katz / Shutterstock

Ferguson, Missouri has seen skyrocketing poverty as a result of "dramatic economic changes in recent years," according to a post by Elizabeth Kneebone.

"The city’s unemployment rate rose from less than 5 percent in 2000 to over 13 percent in 2010-12. For those residents who were employed, inflation-adjusted average earnings fell by one-third. The number of households using federal Housing Choice Vouchers climbed from roughly 300 in 2000 to more than 800 by the end of the decade."

After providing a thorough examination of the Ferguson case study, Kneebone points out how common the problem of suburban poverty around all metro areas has become. And the dynamics that have contributed the conflagration in Ferguson are evident in many of the communities with which it shares economic characteristics, like power structures that are out of step with the recent demographic changes and fragmented municipalities.

Full Story: Ferguson, Mo. Emblematic of Growing Suburban Poverty


Brand new! Urban Grid City Collection

Each city has its own unique story. Commemorate where you came from or where you want to go.
Grids and Guide Red book cover

Grids & Guides

A notebook for visual thinkers. Available in red and black.

Essential Readings in Urban Planning

Planning on taking the AICP* Exam? Register for Planetizen's AICP * Exam Preparation Course to save $25.
Planetizen Courses image ad

Looking for the perfect last-minute gift?

A one-year subscription to Planetizen Courses is the gift that will continue giving all year long.