I have been in many of my seminars on trends been noting that increasingly in many Western cities the poor and marginalized have been pushed out into the suburban and semi-rural fringe. This has been primarily driven by a return to urban areas by white affluent elites, who have attached a kind of semi-religious aura to inner city living. This is a kind of reversal of the suburban movement that begun in the 1950’s. It is almost as if today in some circles your worth or social status is directly linked to your proximity to the downtown centre.
There is a great article over at The New Republic by Alan Ehrenhalt which explains this trend in much more detail. Including this tell tale story of today’s Urban realities.
“Thirty years ago, the mayor of Chicago was unseated by a snowstorm. A blizzard in January of 1979 dumped some 20 inches on the ground, causing, among other problems, a curtailment of transit service. The few available trains coming downtown from the northwest side filled up with middle-class white riders near the far end of the line, leaving no room for poorer people trying to board on inner-city platforms. African Americans and Hispanics blamed this on Mayor Michael Bilandic, and he lost the Democratic primary to Jane Byrne a few weeks later.Today, this could never happen. Not because of climate change, or because the Chicago Transit Authority now runs flawlessly. It couldn’t happen because the trains would fill up with minorities and immigrants on the outskirts of the city, and the passengers left stranded at the inner-city stations would be members of the affluent professional class.”
read the rest of the article here.