By M. Paloma Pavel, Carl Anthony

Activists, analysts, and practitioners describe cutting edge options that advertise fit neighborhoods, reasonable housing, and obtainable transportation all through America's towns and suburbs.

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Extra resources for Breakthrough Communities: Sustainability and Justice in the Next American Metropolis (Urban and Industrial Environments)

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This separation creates vast disparities in housing, schools, tax bases, transportation, and wealth between inner cities and suburbs. Through the lens of regional equity, the jurisdictional geographic focus of metropolitan planning expands this broader definition of urban to include not only the inner core of a city but also its surrounding outer rings that reach into suburbs and rural areas. During the 1970s and 1980s, as these areas became part of the metropolitan region, many of the older city centers were left behind with few or no resources and could no longer flourish.

Down in the valleys women scratch the soil that is left, and the maize hardly reaches the height of a man. They are the valleys of old men and old women, of mothers and children. The men are away, the young men and the girls are away. The soil cannot keep them any more. More than fifty years later, Mountains Beyond Mountains, Tracy Kidder’s account of Paul Farmer’s work in Haiti, described the same sort of extreme environmental degradation, with the same consequences of poverty, desperation, and emigration.

This question, broad as it might seem, is at the heart of thousands—even millions—of individual and collective decisions made every day in the United States and expatriate outposts around the globe. When Congress passes bankruptcy, energy, or healthcare reform; when state legislatures allocate funds for education, parks, and transportation; and when local zoning officials approve or deny multifamily, mixed-income housing development proposals, they are shaping the physical, economic, and social fabric of our nation.

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