With detailed maps of conditions in each metropolitan region, comprehensive data on existing conditions and voter attitudes, and bold, innovative strategies for change, American Metropolitics is an important book for anyone concerned with the future of our cities and suburbs.
Urban and Regional Policies for Metropolitan Livability provides a concise, up-to-date, and systematic treatment of the problems and issues involved in urban and regional policy concerns. Each policy chapter is written by a respected expert in the area, and the book covers all the key policy issues that confront contemporary metropolitan areas, including transportation, the environment, affordable housing, crime, employment, poverty, education, and regional governance. Each chapter outlines an issue, which is followed by current thinking on problem diagnosis and problem solving, as well as the prognosis for future policy success.
This book lays out a variety of opinions on regionalism, its history and its future. While the essays do not comprise a debate, pro and con, about regionalism, they do provide a wide array of perspectives, based on the authors' diverse backgrounds and experience. Some contributors have made close academic studies of how regional action occurs, in various states like Minnesota, California, and Oregon; others give an historical account of a particular region like that surrounding New York City; and yet others point out aspects of regionalism--race, especially-- that should not be ignored.
Why did past efforts at regional collaboration fall apart? What did regionalist efforts of decades ago leave undone, and what new goals should regionalists set? Without an understanding of these questions, policymakers and advocates may find themselves "reinventing the region." This book provides an important understanding of how regionalism has played out in the past, how policies shape places, and the possibilities and limits of regional action.
Bruce J. Katz, director of the Brookings Institution Center on Urban and Metropolitan Policy, was formerly chief of staff at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
This book argues that such flows of residents are not random. Rather, they are closely linked to overall migration into or out of each metropolitan area and to the way U.S. cities develop. Downs contends that both urban development and the social problems it spawns are built upon social arrangements designed to benefit the middle-class majority. Racial segregation divides housing in each metropolitan area into two or more markets. Socioeconomic segregation subdivides neighborhoods within each market into a class hierarchy. The poor live mainly in the oldest neighborhoods, close to the urban center. The affluent live in the newest neighborhoods, mostly at the urban periphery. This separation stems not from pure market forces but from exclusionary laws that make the construction of low-cost housing illegal in most neighborhoods. The resulting pattern determines where housing is built and what housing is left to decay.
Downs uses data from U.S. cities to illustrate neighborhood change and to reach conclusions about ways to cope with it. he explores the causes and nature of racial segregation and integration, and he evaluates neighborhood revitalization programs, which in reviving part of a city often displace many poor residents. He presents a timely analysis of the effect of higher energy costs upon urban sprawl, argues the wisdom of reviving older cities rather than helping their residents move elsewhere, and discusses the advantages and disadvantages of public and private policies at the federal, state, metropolitan-area, city, and neighborhood levels.