Thursday, February 26, 2015

Job growth in urban cores

I found this Upshot article in the New York Times about emerging trends between cities and suburbs fascinating for a variety of reasons. According to the article, employment outside of city centers rapidly outpaced central cities up until 2007. However, the scale has tipped slightly in the other direction with inner city employment rising more rapidly than suburban employment growth. Notably, new urban jobs are more highly skilled and high-paying while working class jobs “are more likely to be suburban” Increased urban growth presents new opportunities for efficient urban, walkable, and transit-oriented communities. However, these hot real estate markets increase land prices making development more expensive. Those costs get passed on to the buyers, and the risk is that cities will become havens for the wealthy and inaccessible to the middle and working class. New York and DC seem to exemplify this exclusivity, where cost of living squeezes out the middle class. The potential for compounded socioeconomic stratification – wealthy, educated households in exclusive urban districts– is a concern. However, the benefits of strong cities outweigh the disadvantages. As the article states, a weak or economically frustrated urban core can burden the whole metropolitan area. Further, the dense cluster of employment can facilitate efficient travel and transportation systems as opposed to more polynucleated urban areas that tend to be more auto-friendly and environmentally damaging. No doubt these shifts will affect state and local budget as constituencies - service needs - evolve.

No comments:

Post a Comment