News Update: White Flight to American Cities

  • Suburbanization in the United States began as a middle and upper-class white movement towards the periphery. While the suburbs have experienced an increase in diversity over the last fifty years, the prevailing stereotypes—that of a poor, minority dominated inner city and affluent white periphery—have remained largely intact. Cities are undergoing a transformation, however, as affluent white suburbanites are returning to the urban core. For the first time in forty years, Manhattan has a white majority. Washington DC just lost its black majority and Atlanta may soon follow. Housing developers are taking note, as many of these new transplants prefer a clean and tranquil atmosphere to the bright lights and glamour so often associated with city centers.


  • Only 6 percent of Auckland’s populating growth over the last 14 years occurred in the city center. New Zealanders prefer the suburbs, and by a large majority. Policymakers must carry out suburban-friendly measures to ensure sustainable city growth, i.e. create a quality standard of living to “attract and hold skilled and motivated people who will determine [Auckland’s] prosperity.”  Planners cannot sacrifice green spaces to accommodate surging populations, while community centers and efficient transportation methods must be devised—including cultural centers and park and ride facilities.

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One Comment on “News Update: White Flight to American Cities”

  1. Mitch
    October 6, 2011 at 9:24 pm #

    I’m not so sure I agree with Forbe’s list. Most of those “top” lists are pretty debatable, though.

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