During a roundtable discussion with community action leaders in Syracuse, New York, one thing became clear: They are tired of talking. What they want is policy change. A report on poverty supports their position. “The Architecture of Segregation: Civil Unrest, the Concentration of Poverty, and Public Policy,” by Paul Jargowsky, a fellow at The Century Foundation, draws two conclusions that “are simple to state, but hard to bring about.” They are:
  • “The federal and state governments must begin to control suburban development so that it is not cannibalistic; new housing construction must be roughly in line with metropolitan population growth.”
  • “Every city and town in a metropolitan area should be required to ensure that the new housing built reflects the income distribution of the metropolitan area as a whole.”
The report also states: “If we are serious about breaking down spatial inequality, we have to overcome our political gridlock and chart a new course toward a more geographically inclusive society.” What will lead to change in Syracuse? Community action leaders say the answer is more jobs for those living in concentrated poverty.  This project seeks to not only identify problems in the city, but also to find solutions.

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