The following passage is excerpted from The Failures of Integration: How Race and Class Are Undermining the American Dream. (For more on this issue, read an interview with the author.)
The growing concern with sprawl creates an interesting possibility for alignment of urban and suburban, white and minority, affluent and poor interests. Advocates for low-income people and for cities and older suburbs need to be much more involved in the smart-growth and sustainable-development movements. It is highly relevant, and even more important to expanding opportunities and choices for low-income minorities.
Steering growth to the urban core has a number of benefits. It saves millions in public resources by building on existing infrastructure rather than sinking funds into new roads, sewers, and utility lines. It renders cities and older suburbs more vibrant and attractive, especially as an alternative to intense traffic congestion and a withering daily commute. It makes the centers of job growth more accessible to the urban poor, especially when mass transit and bus routes for marginalized communities are improved. It cuts down on loss of open space and uncontrolled growth o... Read more