New York was once the town of the tenement. Later, Chicago became home to endless “vertical ghettos”—housing projects that were a ferment of malice and misery. Since well before World War II, inner cities have repelled millions of prosperous families, first to fashionable districts set apart from the grime and crime, and ultimately to the safety of the suburbs that have defined the American landscape for more than a half century.
But in the space of two short decades, the laws of urban physics have changed: Prosperous urbanites stopped fleeing the city core. Their universe ceased to expand. Gravity asserted itself and has again drawn in an affluent class that is remaking and restoring the inner city.
About the Author
Joseph Abrams is an editorial writer for the New York Post. This is his first review for Commentary.