This workshop was very interesting to me because it highlighted a city that I am fairly familiar with (Boston) as well as a phenomena that I am quite concerned about (urban & suburban sprawl).
As far as Boston goes, I was glad to learn about the federal program that brought millions of dollars in to help revitalize some really impoverished parts of the city. Dudley square and other areas need all the help they can get. But does it just take money to solve the urban problems? What about related crime and drugs? will building a new bus terminal or office park necessarily turn neighborhoods around? What if the new building projects are simply raising local property taxes, in turn raising rents, and therefore pushing out the poor folks into another area of town that they can afford.
As long as the existing residents remain in the neighborhood, I would be pleased with the efforts to help revitalize. But if the efforts simply raise the standard of living to one that many cannot afford, then I am skeptical. What good is a revitalization program if the poverty is simply relocated. I hope my pesimism is unfounded.
One quote from the program is that 'jobs combat poverty'. This must be true. But will they combat only poverty, or will they help solve other poverty related issues.
As for the segment on Chicago, I could not help but wonder how the people were going to eat once all the farmland was turned into housing developments. I suppose they will but their bread from Iowa or Nebraska. Here in New Hampshire, there are no such farms that produce mass amounts of grain. Most of the food comes from elsewhere. But what happens when the elsewhere no longer produces either?
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Received on Fri Apr 11 16:24:03 2008