Archive | June, 2011

The Favelas and Gated Communities of Suburban Brazil

Over 1,000-armed guards patrol its grounds and helicopters are a common sight. A military fort comes to mind, but the inhabitants of this guarded complex are in fact middle and upper-class families. Helicopter traffic peaks when businessmen take their daily 14-mile commute to work. Welcome to Alphaville—a gated community of over 20,000 residences in the suburbs of São […]

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News Update: United States Population Trends

The 2010 census shows that only 8.6% of population growth—in metro areas with over one million people—occurred in the city cores. Only Boston, Providence, and Oklahoma City experienced faster growth in the city center, while the suburbs are now home to 6 out of 10 Americans. In terms of demographics, suburban minorities have risen from 5% to […]

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Suburban Riots in Paris and the Bigger Picture

On October 27, 2005 two French youths of foreign descent were electrocuted in an attempt to escape police in the suburb of Clicly-sous-Bois. Their deaths led to three weeks of riots, as destitute teens from suburban housing projects around Paris damaged 9,000 cars and created over 200 million Euros in damage. Subsequent riots in November […]

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Income Data from the 2009 American Community Survey

In Kenneth Jackson’s Crabgrass Frontier, the author observes that “social change usually begins at the top of society. In the United States, affluent families had the flexibility and the financial resources to move to the urban edges first.” Written in the 1960s, the observation had already been confirmed by multiple economists.  The middle and upper-class […]

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