Place Matters: Chapters 1-4
A community is a place where people around supposed to be able to live and thrive together. When one thinks of a community, the image that most likely is visualized is one of a place where each person lives harmoniously with all the other members of that community. While this may be the typical image of a community, it is not the realistic view. In reality communities can share both good and bad aspects. In Place Matters: Metropolitics for the Twenty-First Century Peter Dreier, John Mollenkopf, and Todd Swanstrom make the argument that the place a person lives ultimately matters over all else; the place which a person lives effects the choices that that he/she makes and determines his/her ability to obtain a high quality of life.
In the first chapter the authors begin by laying out their thesis: place matters (Dreier, Mollenkopf, & Swanstrom 1).
The authors look at three different Congressional districts to show how place is different in metropolitan American. Those places include "poor central-city in the South Bronx of New York", "a district that spans the West Side of Cleveland and its suburbs", and "a wealthy outer-ring suburban district west of Chicago" (Dreier, Mollenkopf, & Swanstrom 3).
The first district explored by the authors is the South Bronx. This is one of the poorest and most Democratic congressional districts in the United States. Some of the problems of this district are as follows: high percentages of children, high rates of infectious diseases and violate crimes (Dreier, Mollenkopf, & Swanstrom 4). The area has such a high poverty rate because the government pushed thousands of homeless families there. Despite these problems, the South Bronx has a few good aspects to it as well. Immigrants bring rejuvenation to the area, housing...