For those of you in New York, there’s an NYU event on “The Rise of Global Startups” with Richard Florida happening on September 18th. To see the event details and register, click here. (You may need to scroll down to see the actual page).
Last year I published a study arguing that suburbs contiguous to the central city that are seeing declining populations and incomes, negative stress indicators, and which are struggling to provide basic services should be merged into the core city.
I’m pleased to see Ted McClelland over at over at Chicago Magazine write a great article on this very theme.
Chicago’s inner-ring suburbs have outlived their original purpose as alternatives to city living. And today, they’re suffering problems indistinguishable from — and in some cases worse than — those of Chicago itself. According to the Census Bureau, Chicago lost population in 2017. So did every suburb that borders on Chicago, with the sole exception of Oak Park, which is still far below the historic peak it reached in 1940. While the Chicago Loop and far-flung suburbs such as Naperville and Plainfield are attracting new residents, the caught-in-the-middle, neither-here-nor-there suburbs are withering.
Trying to maintain services with shrinking populations is putting some suburbs in financial death spirals. In Riverdale, which sits across the Calumet River from a Chicago neighborhood with the same name, 30 percent of the residents live in poverty; the village is so starved for revenue that it levies a property tax rate of 29.7 percent — more than four times the 6.9 percent rate paid by Chicagoans, whose taxes are offset by valuable commercial and industrial property. That tax, in turn, chases away businesses who might hire locals.
Click over to read the whole thing.
Cover image credit: Daniel Schwen, CC BY-SA 4.0