CNU Report Combats Suburban Poverty

The Puget Sound region provides a case study for the spread of poverty to suburban areas, and some region-specific recommendations for how to combat the challenges that result.

1 minute read

September 11, 2017, 8:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Seattle & Mt. Rainier

Marcy Reiford / Flickr

Robert Steuteville shares news of the new "Combating the Suburbanization of Poverty" [pdf[ report released this month by the Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU). " "The suburbs are becoming far more diverse all across the US," writes Steuteville. "Low-income people are moving from areas with high access to transportation and services, to areas of low access."

The report focuses on the Seattle region as a case study of this national trend. The number of people in poverty in the suburbs around the region grew four times as fast as the number of people in poverty in Seattle and Tacoma combined.

Those facts are troubling, according to Steuteville, because "the suburbs can be a poverty trap" due to the extra costs of transportation that come with suburban living. Transportation planning in Puget Sound region, like in most metropolitan regions around the country, have not kept up with demographic changes in the region.

Among the recommendations presented by Steuteville in the article is to link the infrastructure investment generated by Sound Transit 3, approved in November 2016, to poverty reduction.

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