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Cities are central to prosperity: they are hubs of innovation and growth. Yet the economic vitality of wealthy cities is marred by persistent and pervasive inequality. In his new book Unequal Cities, economist Richard McGahey argues that deeply entrenched anti-urban policies and politics limit cities' options to address inequality. Many factors – structural racism, suburban subsidies, regional government fragmentation, the hostility of state legislatures, and federal policy – contribute to an unequal status quo that underfunds cities while preventing them from pursuing fairer outcomes.
Drawing on economic and historical analysis as well as his extensive experience in government and philanthropy, McGahey examines the failures of public policy and conventional economic wisdom that have led to the neglect of American cities. Case studies of New York, Detroit, and Los Angeles trace how attempts to achieve greater equity foundered because of the fiscal and political constraints. Shedding light on the forces that produced today’s dysfunction and disparities, Unequal Cities provides timely policy prescriptions to promote both growth and equity.

Unequal Cities: Overcoming Anti-Urban Bias to Reduce Inequality in the United States
Image: Columbia University Press, 2022

General Info

Event Type(s) Talks and Debates
Admission / Cost FREE
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The Skyscraper Museum

About Founded in 1996, The Skyscraper Museum is a private, not-for-profit, educational corporation devoted to the study of high-rise building, past, present, and future. Located in New York City, the world's first and foremost vertical metropolis, the museum celebrates the city's rich architectural heritage and examines the historical forces and individuals that have shaped its successive skylines. Through exhibitions, programs, and publications, the museum explores tall buildings as objects of design, products of technology, sites of construction, investments in real estate, and places of work and residence.
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