Sunbelt/Frostbelt: Public Policies and Market Forces in Metropolitan Development

Janet Rothenberg Pack Editor
Copyright Date: 2005
Pages: 232
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    Book Description:

    Metropolitan growth and development results from a complex mix of factors. Consumer preferences, growth and geographical shifts in population, increasing incomes, market restructuring, quality of schools, and location of affordable housing are just a few that play a critical role. Other important influences include state and local interactions, historical circumstances, and the natural topography of a metropolitan area. Federal and state policies, taken together, set the "rules of the development game" that tend to facilitate economic decentralization, the concentration of poverty, and greater fiscal and racial disparities between communities. In Sunbelt/Frostbelt,Janet Rothenberg Pack and her contributors examine the role of market forces and government policies in shaping growth and development patterns in major metropolitan areas. The findings are a result of a multiyear project analyzing five different locales: two sunbelt metro areas (Los Angeles and Phoenix) and three in northern climes (Pittsburgh, Chicago, and Philadelphia). Through its intensive study of these areas, the book offers a deep understanding of the federal policies and diverse market forces that have affected urban development patterns in the last few decades. Despite the diversity of the cities, the contributors find remarkable similarities in the problems they face. Urban sprawl and spatial inequality are among the common challenges attributable to market forces and public policies. Despite the many similarities, the book finds important differences in the extent of the problems and recommends numerous policies for remedying them. It concludes by examining how these different sunbelt and frostbelt metro areas have attempted to adopt policy reforms that address their unique growth challenges. Contributors include a team of researchers from Arizona State University, Peter Dreier (Occidental College), Robert E. Gleeson (Northern Illinois University), Joseph Gyourko (University of Pennsylvania), Pascale Joassart-Marcelli (University of Massachusetts, Boston), Manuel Pastor Jr. (University of California, Santa Cruz), Jerry R. Paytas (Carnegie Mellon University), Joseph Persky and Kimberly Schaffer (University of Illinois at Chicago), Anita A. Summers (University of Pennsylvania), Wim Wiewel (University of Baltimore), and Jennifer Wolch (University of Southern California).

    eISBN: 978-0-8157-9766-1
    Subjects: Business, Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Foreword
    (pp. vii-viii)
    Strobe Talbott

    How are America’s major cities faring? And what of the regions surrounding them? Do federal, state, and local policies work in tandem with market forces or against reasonable development? Those are among the core questions that the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program addresses all the time—and that this book goes a long way toward answering.

    Sunbelt/Frostbeltprofiles five metropolitan areas across the country. It is timely, relevant, and particularly valuable because it provides a practical view of how different regions of the country pursue dissimilar solutions to try and grapple with each unique challenge. In that regard, these cases clearly...

  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. CHAPTER 1 Metropolitan Development: Patterns, Problems, Causes, Policy Proposals
    (pp. 1-25)
    Janet Rothenberg Pack

    The literature on urban development of the past decade (since about the mid-1990s) has been characterized by the introduction of two concepts: “the New Metropolitanism” and “the New Urbanism.” A recent essay refers to the new metropolitanism as a “paradigm shift.”¹ Although the term takes on many different meanings, its principal components are “urban sprawl” as the problem and “smart growth” as the solution. Moreover, there are many variations on the definitions of the two components in the scholarly literature, in the increasing outpouring of government studies, in general-interest articles on the subject, and, as will be seen, in the...

  6. CHAPTER 2 Chicago: Metropolitan Decentralization
    (pp. 26-54)
    Wim Wiewel, Joseph Persky and Kimberly Schaffer

    Large enough to intensely manifest big-city problems, but not so different as to suggest a lack of generalizability, Chicago is the urban laboratory par excellence. A focus on this Midwest giant makes particularly good sense in a consideration of sprawl.

    Given its rising per capita incomes, flat geography, and long-standing racial tensions, Chicago provides a likely setting for sprawl. And the Chicago region has sprawled. Despite slow population growth, the Chicago urbanized area has spread out. Over the past twenty to thirty years, this process has been encouraged by a preexisting highway system, continuing federal subsidies for housing, permissive local...

  7. CHAPTER 3 Los Angeles: Region by Design
    (pp. 55-109)
    Jennifer Wolch, Pascale Joassart-Marcelli, Manuel Pastor Jr. and Peter Dreier

    How did public policies shape America’s most iconoclastic city-region . . . or did they?

    Los Angeles is often viewed as the grand exception in American urbanism—the city that “breaks the rules.” Diverse, fragmented, polarized, and ungovernable, a metropolis without geographic center or unifying civic culture, southern California is often described as having grown without benefit of planning or policy. But some analysts have recently challenged these views. Missing from the debate about southern California is any systematic analysis of how federal, state, and local public policies have shaped the region, especially during the post–World War II period....

  8. CHAPTER 4 Philadelphia: Spatial Economic Disparities
    (pp. 110-139)
    Joseph Gyourko and Anita A. Summers

    Economic development and growth have varied widely across jurisdictions within the Philadelphia metropolitan area. The same is true for social conditions across the region. This is likely to make forging metropolitan solutions to urban and regional problems difficult, because they typically require a political consensus that itself is hard to establish in such circumstances. There is no doubt that the effort still needs to be made, but the extent of regional policies remains very limited. At this writing in 2004, large differences in fiscally burdensome socioeconomic conditions are primarily addressed at the federal and state levels. The evidence indicates that...

  9. CHAPTER 5 Phoenix: Dealing with Fast Growth
    (pp. 140-181)
    Arizona State University Research Team

    Phoenix is often viewed as the quintessential Sunbelt metropolis: young, fast-growing, auto-centered, and sprawling. While some facets of the stereotype are accurate, the complete picture of metropolitan Phoenix is more complex. In some notable ways, metropolitan Phoenix’s story is one of success. For example, in comparison with other urban regions, the Phoenix metropolitan area is fairly compact with relative equity between its core city and its suburbs. Prospectively, however, the challenges are great. The desert landscape is changing and some educational and economic divides are obvious; plus the mechanisms available to cope with problems may be insufficient to handle many...

  10. CHAPTER 6 Pittsburgh: Economic Restructuring and Regional Development Patterns, 1880–2000
    (pp. 182-218)
    Robert E. Gleeson and Jerry Paytas

    The physical development pattern of most regions was transformed dramatically during the second half of the twentieth century as commercial, industrial, and residential development moved away from central cities and economic activity shifted from manufacturing to services. Over time, new highways, beltways, and other public infrastructure interconnected growing suburban places and created individual development corridors outside the boundaries of traditional center cities. The rise of suburban housing subdivisions, low-rise suburban office parks, beltway loops, enclosed malls, and eventually “edge cities” were all part of the shift of American society from city to suburb, factory to cubicle, and blue collar to...

  11. Contributors
    (pp. 219-220)
  12. Index
    (pp. 221-232)
  13. Back Matter
    (pp. 233-234)
  14. [Maps]
    (pp. None)