Rolf Pendall posted a short, interesting piece on the suburbanization of poverty at the Urban Institute's new Metro Trends Blog. In it, he questions the basis of determining cities from suburbs in the service of understanding the "suburbanization of poverty."

His criticism stems from the ambiguity of defining suburbs and cities based on their urban design and physical infrastructure. He demonstrates this ambiguity through examples of Houson, Texas (a city with extensive sprawl); Fremont, California (a suburb with its own employment base and denser development than Houston); and Silver Spring, Maryland (an inner-ring suburb with all of the accoutrements of urban living).

His question is valid and one we face often in our work on New York: how relevant is work on New York City for the rest of the country. Just to provide an example of my own, the picture below that looks much like the Silver Spring neighborhood my family is preparing to move into is actually in New York City.


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