Tuesday, November 4, 2008
If there were any doubt that the old model of a poor and diverse central city surrounded by affluent white suburbs is now thoroughly outmoded, here’s a fascinating story from the Virginia suburbs of Washington, DC, which have been some of the fastest growing in the nation. In the new century, most of the growth in the outer suburbs, particularly in Prince William County –- once rural, but now in large part suburban –- has been due to the migration of minority residents, who are most often Latino. In Prince William, now nearly half minority, new migrants have found lower prices (and, in too many instances, subprime loans), access to exurban jobs, and, eventually, backlash by more senior residents. Meanwhile, older inner suburbs, such as Alexandria and Arlington, actually saw their percentages of minority residents fall in over the past decade. Why? These areas have become more popular for affluent families and singles who seek ready access to the big city; new and high-priced condo towers and townhouses have sprouted up everywhere. Thus, the Virginia suburbs now resemble the model of many big European cities, in which the inner neighborhoods are prized by the wealthy, while immigrants must settle for the more distant suburbs.
What does this shift mean for land use law? It means that outer suburbs must re-think their exclusionary zoning laws, designed when the idea of a exurb was a sleepy world of homogeneous and affluent citizens. And it means reassessing the relationship between city and suburb, and between suburb and suburb.
[Comments must be approved and thus take some time to appear online.]
This blog is an Amazon affiliate. Help support Land Use Prof Blog by making purchases through Amazon links on this site at no cost to you.
- Stephen R. Miller on Why are building inspectors so often on the take?
- Josh Hightree on What makes people leave rural areas, and what makes them stay
- Jessica Shoemaker on What makes people leave rural areas, and what makes them stay
- Jamie Baker Roskie on Why are building inspectors so often on the take?
- Stephen R. Miller on What makes people leave rural areas, and what makes them stay
- March 4-6: Stanford 2015 Rural West Conference: Preservation and Transformation: The Future of the Rural West
- March 3 - J.B. Ruhl to deliver Boehl Distinguished Lecture in Land Use Policy at U Louisville Law
- Is this blog post "advertising"? California's bar proposes bright-line rule for regulating attorney blogs
- Two upcoming RMMLF events: 61st Annual Institute (July 16-18 in Anchorage) and 17th Institute for Natural Resources Law Teachers (May 27-29 at Utah Law)
- First Principles for Regulating the Sharing Economy