Ask two random Americans whether they think post-industrial cities are “coming back,” and you’re likely to get two very different answers—even if both of those people live in the Rust Belt themselves. That’s because much of the development in the Detroits, Baltimores, and Clevelands of the world has been highly concentrated in just a handful of lucky neighborhoods. And the rest of those cities, in many cases, has fallen into sharper patterns of decline than ever.
How did this happen, and what does it mean for those who want to see whole regions (and their residents) become financially strong, rather than just a few select corners of our legacy cities? That’s the question at the heart of scholar and urban practitioner Alan Mallach’s The Divided City: Poverty and Prosperity in Urban America. In his provocative and ground-breaking book, Mallach explores the economic, political, and social realities that have propelled so much of our nation’s largest cities into unhealthy and inequitable development patterns that resist simple narratives of both unilateral gentrification and unilateral decline. And then he explores what he thinks it will take to really create resilience for all their citizens.
On March 21st at 12pm CST, Strong Towns members are invited to a very special Ask Me Anything event with Alan Mallach. Participants in this edition of Celebrity Ask Strong Towns are invited to log on live for a conversation between the author and Strong Towns staffer Kea Wilson, followed by a moderated digital Q&A period with the author. Members, please check your email for your exclusive invite, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Not a member? Join the movement now to join this webcast and ask your questions live. A recording of this live conversation will be released in the weeks following for non-members.
Alan Mallach is a senior fellow at the Center for Community Progress in Washington DC. A city planner, advocate and writer, he is nationally known for his work on housing, economic development, and urban revitalization, and has worked with local governments and community organizations across the country to develop creative policies and strategies to rebuild their cities and neighborhoods. A former director of housing & economic development in Trenton, New Jersey, he currently teaches in the graduate city planning program at Pratt Institute in New York City. He has spoken on housing and urban issues in the United States, Europe, Israel and Japan, and was a visiting scholar at the University of Nevada Las Vegas for the 2010-2011 academic year. His recent books include A Decent Home: Planning, Building and Preserving Affordable Housing and Bringing Buildings Back: From Vacant Properties to Community Assets, which has become a resource for thousands of planners, lawyers, public officials and community leaders dealing with problem property and revitalization issues. He is a member of the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Certified Planners, and holds a B.A. degree from Yale University.