Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

Census 2010 and Urbanizing Indiana

I have another post up at New Geography called “Census 2010: Urbanizing Indiana.” Similar to my Chicago piece, this looks at the latest Census results for Indianapolis and Indiana.

For Indy, the story has some similarities to Chicago. The core (Center Township) badly missed expectations, but there were differences as well. Black population growth in Indy was strong, and the inner suburban (township) areas fared better than expected, particularly on the south side.

For Indiana as a whole, growth continued to be heavily metro focused. The map below says it all. It highlights those counties that grew faster than the statewide average:

Check out the piece for full details.

5 Comments
Topics: Demographic Analysis
Cities: Indianapolis

5 Responses to “Census 2010 and Urbanizing Indiana”

  1. jhen,

    Thanks for that link. You might be interested to know that I had the story first:

    http://www.urbanophile.com/2010/04/18/the-new-look-of-the-american-suburb/

    I even profiled the same strip mall the NYT did. Given the number of NYT hits I get here, I wouldn’t be surprised if my original blog post inspired that article, which I thought was great by the way. It’s awesome to see Indy pick up that kind of coverage.

  2. alki says:

    I worry that in making this post I will come off sounding patronizing or condescending…….that’s not my intent at all. A while back I found this blog along with a few other Midwestern city blogs. I’ve have been seriously impressed with how many people are concerned with the well-being of their cities. You see……I am originally from the Midwest, and given the media spin over the past ten years, had begun to believe that the Midwest was all but dead. As I have learned from your blogs, that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

    Shortly after graduating college, I left the Midwest for a great job offer…..going first to SFO and then, LA. I now live in Seattle. So in a sense, I have experienced both worlds, and frankly, I think Midwesterners spend too much time worrying about what coastal people think. And coastal people are more than willing to reinforce that concern. leading Midwesterners to some perceptions I don’t think are all that accurate.

    For an example, diversity ain’t what its cracked up to be. There are still Chinatowns and Little Tokyos because some people really prefer their own kind and it makes the tourists happy to wander around looking at all the things they don’t see at home. After all, the Chinese don’t have to live in Chinatown these days….21st century segregation is by de facto, no longer by law. In fact, most Chinese don’t live in the various Chinatowns that exist on the West coast; to whit, LA’s Chinatown is mostly made up of Vietnamese and Seattle’s former Chinatown is now called the International District and is made of up of several different ethnicities.

    Besides, diversity has a troubled history and barely works in places like LA. As recently as 1992, LA had a serious uprising and there will be riots again if that city doesn’t get its act together. On the West coast, the ‘food chain’ is made up of whites still on top; blacks on the bottom and the different shaded ethnicities sandwiched in between. Oh yeah, you get to eat all the Mexican food you want which really isn’t true Mexican food, or all the Thai food you want which isn’t really true Thai food. But it sure sounds interesting and sophisticated.

    Adding to their mystique, there is this edginess and creativity for which coastal cities are famous. Oh yeah……to survive living in SFO or LA, creativity is a necessity. And you would be edgy too if you had to deal with the kind of day to day life these cities provide. The living is tough…..there are non stop traffic jams, considerable corruption, dysfunctional services and competitive/cut throat behavior. And the cost of living his high.

    Fortunately, they left me mostly alone because I was a Midwesterner and they love Midwesterners because they tend to be more productive than the natives. You heard that one right……all those coastal companies that swing by Midwestern campuses do so because Midwesterners are known as worker bees with great values and good productivity. In fact, transplanted Midwesterners are the ones mostly doing all the work on the Coast. That’s a true story.

    And if you want some of that coastal edginess and creativity, move to Detroit. The living there is hard as evidenced by the kind of art getting produced in that city. Conversely, the living is easy in Mpls, in Indy, in Columbus. People in those cities work at it. That’s why your streets are so clean and things work…..and why you all don’t seem cranky and edgy. Trust me, edgy gets real annoying after a while.

    The following anecdote best describes the difference between the Midwest and the West coast. When I left Mpls, I had three different sets of friends. Each set threw me a big going away party or dinner. They couldn’t have been sweeter. In LA and SFO, my ‘friends’ first were angry, then unpleasant when I got ready to move. Some said audaciously I couldn’t move as if they could stop me. And when I finally made the move to Seattle and they came to visit, they told the friends back home that I had ‘moved back to the Midwest’ which was intended as a silly put down. Of course, it wasn’t to me because I have always been proud that I was from MPLS and from the Midwest. After all…..THE MIDWEST IS BEST! ;-)

    Okay. so why did I leave the Midwest. First and foremost I was bored. I doubt it would have been any different had I grown up in NYC. I likely would have moved at the first opportunity. That’s just the way some of us are. Wanderlust is endemic to some members of the human species. There were all these considerations that mean little now. I was bored. The people look all the same. I didn’t like the winter weather but then I ended up not liking the weather in LA either. So shoot me. Just because some cities grow faster than other cities doesn’t make those cities better. I wouldn’t be caught dead in Dallas and yet its one of the fastest growing metro areas in the country.

    My point is that cities like Cincy, Indy, Mpls, Columbus, and KC have a lot going for them and are good places to live. Build on the qualities that make those cities great and more people will come. Its the cities like Cleveland, Buffalo and Detroit that are in trouble and need special attention. There is where the focus should be. You can’t ignore them. Their problems must be reversed……and given the energy I see, I think they will be reversed. I feel more confident of that eventuality after reading these blogs.

    One more thing……..I have said it before in other posts and I say it again here. Get rid of the Rust Belt moniker. Not only is it negative and misleading but I believe it no longer represents the nature of a number of Midwestern metros.

  3. OTR says:

    Great post alki!

  4. alki says:

    Thanks, OTR.

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