(378) Chicago sees suburan poverty in 2011 census data

800px-Milwaukee_ave[1]Chicago’s bloggers and mass media have been commenting on the analysis of 2011 census data from the federal government by an area non-profit called the Heartland Alliance.  They’ve confirmed that suburban poverty is reason for concern and many Chicago area counties are part of this significant change. 

Posted to 312 the chicagomag.com staff blog is an article from this summer with a link to a mapping tool that displays the progress of Chicago’s suburban poverty from 1980 to 2010: How poverty moved to Chicago’s suburbs

Poverty increases fast in Chicago suburbs
WBEZ91.5 

Face of US poverty: these days, more poor live in suburbs than in cities 
Christian Science Monitor feature starts a look at the national picture of suburban poverty in Harvey, IL

Study shows minimum wage workers need to work 82 hours/week to afford rent
chicagoist.com posting with a link to study from National Low Income Housing Association

How poor we are: Chicago and the suburbs
Chicago is the World 

image: CTA bus on Milwaukee Avenue in 1981 by H. Zychowski via Wikimedia Commons

(256) Chicago report finds one in five suburbanites in or near poverty

Barely a month into the new year and we have new details on suburban poverty in Illinois in general & Chicago in particular.

1 in 5 in suburbs in or near poverty dailyherald.com

Report on Illinois Poverty Social Impact Research Center/Heartland Alliance

image: 1855 state map by JH Colton via Wikimedia Commons

(223) Rethinking the corporate campus

Just as the smokestack and the skyscraper symbolized a particular kind of economic development so did the corporate campus.  These were all the rage for decades, groupings of commercial buildings deployed amid greenery and reached mainly by car.  The corporate campus was chosen by high technology industries in particular with the example of Microsoft in Redmond, Washington known internationally.  The corporate campus first took root near the larger, older centres and were eventually replicated all over North America.  They seem to have served their owners well enough in their day, allowing firms to secure, centralize and rationalize their operations on greenfield sites beyond busy and expensive cities.  They were seen as a way to control real estate and operational costs and as enhancers of corporate culture and performance.  Some were plunked down in urban areas, others are suburban with yet others built in the middle of nowhere.  Now the business campus has come in for a timely rethink.  The idea going forward seems to be not to fully segregate places of work from places of residence.  This reduces transportation costs and stress for workers which also goes a little lighter on the environment.  The result is healthier and easier for everyone.

Steps-from-work housing
NYT piece looking at planning efforts in Hartford, CT which add residential uses to a large corporate office corridor

Crain’s Special Report: Corporate campuses in twilight

photo: JonRidinger via Wikimedia Commons

(102) Are we used to all of this yet?

Latest US numbers for job creation are actually pretty good according to mainstream media.  Seen against the oft-mentioned-around-here 2010 US Census the Americans still have an ordeal ahead of them in regard to people and the economy.  Here is a piece from Chicago with nothing missing from the picture of suburban poverty.
Lack of jobs leaves more suburban, middle class sliding into poverty
WinnetkaTalk

(101) Where is suburban poverty going? [Video]

If you came by looking for some serious depth-of-treatment regarding suburban poverty you could do much worse than giving up ninety or so minutes to Scott W. Allard from the University of Chicago’s School of Social Service Administration.  He points out that suburban poverty is not just driven by outward movement of people but exists for its own local reasons as well.  Professor Allard is working on a new book.  We’re probably gonna read it.
Places in need

(97) Chicago

A report from public station WTTW profiles tough times in DuPage County, Illinois.  An official describes poverty there as having “exploded.”  Some 60,000 people in DuPage County meet US federal government criteria for being poor, an increase of some 185%.  Those profiled in this piece represent the so-called “newly” poor.  A teacher and a nurse, slipped from situations of relative privilege sadly demonstrate the findings of the 2010 US census.  Mentioned here a number of times already the 2010 census will enter the American historical record as a profound document of social change and social difficulty.  Will the suburbs ever bounce back?  Or will they just turn into something else completely?
Chicago Tonight: Suburban Poverty 9:00

Photo credit: barmik via Wikimedia Commons

(95) It isn’t a secret…

Whoever wrote the headline for the item linked below maybe needs to pay more attention to the world.  Suburban poverty is not a secret.  Still, this is a good piece.  The item mentions 2010 US Census data which strongly underlined the shift in the fortunes of the suburbs, underway since well before the crash of 2008.  The author also visits a food bank in Illinois.  Food banks and food pantries are among the places where the rubber really hits the road as far as ascertaining the true state of a community.

“Last year, there were 2.7 million more suburban households below the federal poverty level than urban households, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That was the first time on record that America’s cities didn’t contain the highest absolute number of households living in poverty. There are many reasons for the dramatic turnabout in the geographic profile of poverty.”

America’s Best Kept Secret: Rising Suburban Poverty
Fiscal Times

(73) Governing suburban poverty

American state and municipal governments have seen their finances pounded since 2007.  That’s a bad development for everyone because those are the levels of government the most number of people are the closest to.  When we read items like the one below from Governing we get a detailed sense of how tough things can be.  Again, the communication difficulties and costs associated with doing business in the suburbs make the delivery of health and social services all the more problematic.  There’s also a cultural dimension that goes underappreciated.  It seems that people with middle class assumptions often adjust poorly to hard times and lack even basic knowledge of where to go to get help when they hit the skids.
Poverty comes to the suburbs: poverty is encroaching on suburban enclaves — even the most affluent of them. Many are ill-equipped to meet the new social-service needs.