Political, Economic, and Spatial Marginality in Chicago

From an interesting piece by Ben Austen in the NYT Magazine on official and unofficial efforts at land-banking and housing reclamation in distressed parts of Chicago:

What the housing crisis has revealed, in stark relief, is a Chicago that already looks increasingly like this vision of a ring city, with the moneyed elite residing within the glow of that jewel-like core and the largely ethnic poor and working-class relegated to the peripheries, the banlieues.

It’s remarkable how strong the hold of the old Park and Burgess concentric zone model is–the peripheralization of poverty is a phenomenon we can hardly even name, let alone address (except by Rahm Emanuel’s evident plan to strip anchoring institutions like schools out of neighborhoods already decimated by poverty and foreclosure).

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