The Life and Death of Urban Hierarchies

Kristen Jeffers writes that she's changed her mind about the existence of hierarchies among U.S. cities.
March 5, 2016, 1pm PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Back in 2012, Kristen Jeffers, who blogs as The Black Urbanist, wrote an opinion piece proclaiming the death of the urban hierarchy. The pith of her argument at the time:

The point is, we are no longer in a rigid, true hierarchy of urban areas. Yes, media outlets, the federal government, stock traders, car companies and film stars may concentrate in certain areas, but these areas are more concentrations and gatherings than they are true indicators of influence.

Fast forward to 2016, and Jeffers has seen too much evidence to the contrary to hold onto that view. "The Urban Hierarchy Was Never Dead" reads the headline, as Jeffers explains the circumstances that led to her changing opinion:

After all, this was before I graduated from my MPA  program, before I rented an apartment that almost bankrupted me, before I moved halfway across the country to improve my job prospects, before police brutalities, school failures, high rents and student debts, and finally bad local and state leadership could come in and cloud my view of the ability for all cities to be equal.

The post goes on to detail more of the ways hierarchies between cities are possible, concluding with a note of optimism.

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Published on Friday, March 4, 2016 in The Black Urbanist
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