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James A. Johnson Metro Series

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James A. Johnson Metro Series

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Boomburbs

The Rise of America's Accidental Cities

Robert E. Lang and Jennifer B. LeFurgy

A glance at a list of America's fastest growing "cities" reveals quite a surprise: most are really overgrown suburbs. Places such as Anaheim, California, Coral Springs, Florida, Naperville, Illinois, North Las Vegas, Nevada, and Plano, Texas, have swelled to big-city size with few people really noticing —including many of their ten million residents. These "boomburbs" are large, rapidly growing, incorporated communities of more than 100,000 residents that are not the biggest city in their region. Here, Robert E. Lang and Jennifer B. LeFurgy explain who lives in them, what they look like, how they are governed, and why their rise calls into question the definition of urban.

Located in over twenty-five major metro areas throughout the United States, numerous boomburbs have doubled, tripled, even quadrupled in size between census reports. Some are now more populated than traditional big cities. The population of the biggest boomburb —Mesa, Arizona —recently surpassed that of Minneapolis and Miami.

Typically large and sprawling, boomburbs are "accidental cities," but not because they lack planning. Many are made up of master-planned communities that have grown into one another. Few anticipated becoming big cities and unintentionally arrived at their status. Although boomburbs possess elements found in cities such as housing, retailing, offices, and entertainment, they lack large downtowns. But they can contain high-profile industries and entertainment venues: the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and Arizona Cardinals are among over a dozen major-league sports teams who play in the boomburbs.

Urban in fact but not in feel, these drive-by cities of highways, office parks, and shopping malls are much more horizontally built and less pedestrian friendly than most older suburbs. And, contrary to common perceptions of suburbia, they are not rich and elitist. Poverty is often seen in boomburb communities of small single-family homes, neighborhoods that once represented the American dream.

Boomburbs are a quintessential American landscape, embodying much of the nation's complexity, expansiveness, and ambiguity. This fascinating look at the often contradictory world of boomburbs examines why America's suburbs are thriving and how they are shaping the lives of millions of residents.

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Building Assets, Building Credit

Creating Wealth in Low-Income Communities

foreword by Edward Gramlich. edited by Nicolas P. Retsinas and Eric S. Belsky

Poor people spend their money living day to day. How can they accumulate wealth? In the United States, homeownership is often the answer. Homes not only provide shelter but also are assets, and thus a means to create equity. Mortgage credit becomes a crucial factor. More Americans than ever now have some access to credit. However. thanks in large part to the growth of global capital markets and greater use of "credit scores," not all homeowners have benefited equally from the opened spigots. Different terms and conditions mean that some applicants are overpaying for mortgage credit, while some are getting in over their heads. And the door is left wide open for predatory lenders. In this important new volume, accomplished analysts examine the situation, illustrate its ramifications, and recommend steps to improve it. Today, low-income Americans have more access to credit than ever before. The challenge is to increase the chances that homeownership becomes the new pathway to asset-building that everyone hopes it will be.

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Low-Income Homeownership

Examining the Unexamined Goal

edited by Nicolas P. Retsinas and Eric S. Belsky

A generation ago little attention was focused on low-income homeownership. Today homeownership rates among under-served groups, including low-income households and minorities, have risen to record levels. These groups are no longer at the margin of the housing market; they have benefited from more flexible underwriting standards and greater access to credit. However, there is still a racial/ethnic gap and the homeownership rates of minority and low-income households are still well below the national average. This volume gathers the observations of housing experts on low-income homeownership and its effects on households and communities. The book is divided into five chapters which focus on the following subjects: homeownership trends in the 1990s; overcoming borrower constraints; financial returns to low-income homeowners; low-income loan performance; and the socioeconomic impact of homeownership.

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Redefining Urban and Suburban America

Evidence from Census 2000

edited by Alan Berube, Bruce J. Katz, and Robert E. Lang

Results from Census 2000 have confirmed that American cities and metropolitan areas lie at the heart of the nation's most pronounced demographic and economic changes. The third volume in the Redefining Urban and Suburban America series describes anew the changing shape of metropolitan American and the consequences for policies in areas such as employment, public services, and urban revitalization. The continued decentralization of population and economic activity in most metropolitan areas has transformed once-suburban places into new engines of metropolitan growth. At the same time, some traditional central cities have enjoyed a population renaissance, thanks to a recent book in "living" downtowns. The contributors to this book probe the rise of these new growth centers and their impacts on the metropolitan landscape, including how recent patterns have affected the government's own methods for reporting information on urban, suburban, and rural areas. Volume 3 also provides a closer look at the social and economic impacts of growth patterns in cities and suburbs. Contributors examine how suburbanization has affected access to employment for minorities and lower-income workers, how housing development trends have fueled population declines in some central cities, and how these patterns are shifting the economic balance between older and newer suburbs. Contributors include Thomas Bier (Cleveland State University), Peter Dreier (Occidental College), William Frey (Brookings), Robert Lang (Virginia Tech), Steven Raphael (University of California, Berkeley), Audrey Singer (Brookings), Michael Stoll (University of California, Los Angeles), Todd Swanstrom (St. Louis University), and Jill Wilson (Brookings).

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Redefining Urban and Suburban America

Evidence from Census 2000

edited by Alan Berube, Bruce J. Katz, and Robert E. Lang

Results from Census 2000 continue to reveal the striking changes taking place in the nation's cities and suburbs during the 1990s. Thanks to a decade of strong economic growth, concentrated poverty in inner cities declined dramatically, homeownership rose among young minority households, and workers from abroad settled in growing metropolitan areas that had experienced little immigration to date. This second volume in the Redefining Urban and Suburban America series makes clear, however, that regional differences add texture to these broader social and economic trends. Using data from the Census "long form," the contributors to this book probe migration, income and poverty, and housing trends in the nation's largest cities and metropolitan areas. Economically, the fast-growing Sunbelt and the Midwest performed well in the 1990s, enjoying declining poverty rates, rising homeownership, and the evolution of a solid middle-class population. Cities like San Antonio, Chicago, Houston, and Columbus saw stunning declines in high-poverty neighborhoods. The story was more mixed in the coastal areas of the Northeast and West, where poverty rates rose in cities such as Boston, New York, Washington, and Los Angeles. On net, their metro areas lost residents to other parts of the United States, even as they gained workers and families from abroad. This volume provides a closer look at the unprecedented social and economic changes taking place in the nation's oldest and newest communities, and explores the implications for a diverse set of policy areas, including metropolitan development patterns, immigrant incorporation, and the promotion of affordable housing and homeownership.

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Sunbelt/Frostbelt

Public Policies and Market Forces in Metropolitan Development

edited by Janet Rothenberg Pack

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 S unbelt/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).

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Taking the High Road

A Metropolitan Agenda for Transportation Reform

edited by Bruce Katz and Robert Puentes

Since the early 1990s, federal transportation laws have slowly started to level the playing field between highway and alternative transportation strategies, as well as between older and newer communities. The Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 and the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century made substantial changes in transportation practices. These laws devolved greater responsibility for planning and implementation to urban development organizations and introduced more flexibility in the spending of federal highway and transit funds. They also created a series of special programs to carry out important national objectives, and they tightened the linkages between transportation spending and issues such as metropolitan air quality. Taking the High Road examines the most pressing transportation challenges facing American cities, suburbs, and metropolitan areas. The authors focus on the central issues in the ongoing debate and deliberations about the nation's transportation policy. They go beyond the federal debate, however, to lay out an agenda for reform that responds directly to those responsible for putting these policies into practice—leaders at the state, metropolitan, and local levels. This book presents public officials with options for reform. Hoping to build upon the progress and momentum of earlier transportation laws, it ensures a better understanding of the problems and provides policymakers, journalists, and the public with a comprehensive guide to the numerous issues that must be addressed. Topics include • A wide-ranging policy framework that addresses the reauthorization debate • An examination of transportation finance and how it affects cities and suburbs • An analysis of metropolitan decisionmaking in transportation • The challenges of transportation access for working families and the elderly • The problems of increasing traffic congestion and the lack of adequate alternatives Contributors include Scott Bernstein (Center for Neighborhood Technology), Edward Biemborn (University of Wisconsin), Evelyn Blumenberg (UCLA), John Brennan (Cleveland State University), Anthony Downs (Brookings), Billie K. Geyer (Cleveland State), Edward W. Hill (Cleveland State), Arnold Howitt (Harvard University), Kevin E. O'Brien (Cleveland State), Ryan Prince (Brookings), Claudette Robey (Cleveland State), Sandra Rosenbloom (University of Arizona), Thomas Sanchez (Virginia Tech), Martin Wachs (University of California, Berkeley), and Margy Waller (Brookings).

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