Thursday, November 05, 2015

How Defining a Metropolitan Statistical Area Promotes Poverty

A metro only exists for those who can afford to commute.

Theme: Geography of poverty

Subject Article: "Mass. economy booms, but the effect is uneven: The town of Acton and the Boston neighborhood of Mattapan are only 30 miles apart, but one is booming while the other languishes in high unemployment and poverty."

Other Links: 1. "About Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas."

Postscript: As an amenity young adult urbanists adore, transit is divorced from employment. Considering "transit deserts" in Toronto:

To the authors of a new study out of the City Institute at York University, these facts expose “transit inequity” in Toronto: the people most dependent on transit, who pay a higher portion of their income to ride it, also get the worst service. The report, titled Switching Tracks, suggests ways the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area can achieve greater “transit justice.”

Among its main contentions is that, historically, major transit projects exacerbate social inequality. “The majority of infrastructure investments in the modern city have privileged the rich,” said Roger Keil, a co-author of the report. This is not only because wealthier citizens tend to wield more political clout, but because conventional planning wisdom dictates that major rapid transit lines should connect areas that are already thriving: dense residential zones, booming commercial areas, and transportation hubs.

Not only do transit projects help concentrate poverty, they are used to attract and retain millennials (e.g. Atlanta). Transit planners bear some responsibility for the growing inequality divide, as seen in the case of Boston. Jobs go unfilled in Acton while the unemployment line in Mattapan grows longer. Instead of tackling this issue, the question asked is "When Are You Getting Late-Night Subway Service?"

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