By Lauren Herman
Urban life is becoming increasingly attractive to Americans across the United States who are (re)claiming an urban lifestyle as their “American Dream.”
Cities are a practical, economical choice with smaller housing options and shorter commutes. After the recent recession and housing crash, a large chuck of America is squeezed by college or personal debt, often making mortgages and car loans unattainable. [i]
Cities are also appealing to both the young and the old as urban crime continues to decrease, urban schools and urban spaces continue to improve, and factories no longer occupy significant chunks of city land, polluting the city landscape. [ii]
At the same time, the suburbs are now home to high levels of poverty, unemployment, and abandoned housing – all characteristics of the city less than a century ago. Those who can afford it are fleeing the suburbs and its problems for the revitalization of urban utopia – a process some label as “yupification” and gentrification of urban America. [iii]
With the transformation of the American homeland, debates are emerging about how this will shape our future cities; Sacramento is no different.
The Redevelopment of Urban Space: How Sacramento is No Different
The majority of California, 95 percent of its residents, resides within urban areas making the golden state the most urban compared to any other state. It is no surprise that Sacramento, California’s capital city, is undergoing significant urban development.
Downtown Sacramento will transform over the next few years with the construction of the new entertainment and sports center, future home to the NBA team – the Sacramento Kings. With the influx of capital to fund this large construction project comes even more capital and development for its surrounding area, most recently the redevelopment of the 700 block of K Street.
This redevelopment of downtown Sacramento gives Sacramentans a platform for an ongoing discussion around civic engagement regarding the future of American cities. This resurgence of urban development across the United States and the (re)interest in American cities has and will continue to change its affordability, its use of space, and the opportunities offered to its residents and its citizens.
What stake do we as Sacramentans - the public, its residents, and its citizens - have in current and future plans of our city? The urban landscape shapes us, our memories, our identities, but how do we locate or insert ourselves in its transformations? What are the roles of its citizens, its residents, both present and future?
Announcing the Upcoming Conference: "This Changes Everything: City"
For the third TEDxSacramentoSalon in our “This Changes Everything” 2014/2015 series, we present to you: “This Changes Everything: City.” We will be bringing in thinkers and doers to share ideas and stories that are transforming life in the city and our role in it.
As the capital of one of the largest economies in the world and the largest state government in the world, Sacramento is uniquely positioned to be an idea catalyst for cities around the globe. We live here. We build here. We grow here. This city belongs to you and me. “This Changes Everything: City” is for people who give a damn. People like you.
References for Blog Post:
[i, ii] Chakrabarti, Vishaan. "America's Urban Future" New York Times. 16 April 2014. Online.
[iii] Gallagher, Leigh. The End of the Suburbs: Where the American Dream is Moving. New York, New York : Portfolio/Penguin, 2013.
To paragraph 2 under "The Redevelopment Of Urban Space: How Sacramento Is No Different": 800 block changed to 700 block. 01.29.2015.