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Urban Challenges. AP Human Geography. What is the “inner city?”. Residential neighborhoods that surround the CBD. Suburbs exist on the periphery (edge) of the city . Inner city residents face a unique set of challenges . Higher density

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Urban challenges

Urban Challenges

AP Human Geography

What is the inner city
What is the “inner city?”

  • Residential neighborhoods that surround the CBD.

  • Suburbs exist on the periphery (edge) of the city.

  • Inner city residents face a unique set of challenges.

  • Higher density

  • High concentrations of low income residents (compared to the suburbs)

  • Crime, poverty

What happened
What Happened?

  • Great Migration

    • Blacks from the South were pushed into certain areas of the city aka ghettos.

    • High concentrations of poverty, over crowded

  • Because of restrictive covenants, blacks had trouble moving out of the “ghetto.”

    • Houses in certain areas could only be sold to whites.

  • Decline of industry= loss of jobs

    • Increase in illegal activity/ gangs/ drugs/ etc.

Public housing
Public Housing

  • Housing projects were built to alleviate the poverty faced by those living in the ghetto.

  • Dr. King visited Chicago and praised the construction of the projects.

  • Over time, they deteriorated and became havens of violence and crime.


  • Houses grow old and fall into a state of disrepair.

    • Properties decline in value, not worth maintaining

  • Landlords abandon properties instead of maintaining them.

  • Filtering- larger houses are divided into multiple units.

    • Cheaper rent

    • Higher concentration of low income residents


  • Loans are denied to people living in areas

  • These areas fall into greater disrepair since people cannot get loans to improve their property.

  • Today, the practice is illegal, but was widespread 1920’s-70’s.

Urban renewal
Urban Renewal

  • The process of identifying blighted neighborhoods, purchasing the property, clearing the site (including residents), and redeveloping the area.

    • Condos, shops, etc.

    • Material conditions improve

  • Controversy: destroys traditional neighborhoods, “negro removal” (1960s)

  • Most residents are forced to relocate, although some units may be set aside for low income residents.

Near west side chicago
Near West Side, Chicago


20 years ago


  • Middle class suburbanites move back into the city and renovate housing

    • Shorter commute, closer to nightlife/ recreation

  • Rents/ taxes increase

  • Low income residents are pushed out of their neighborhoods

Social issues
Social Issues

  • Underclass- refers to residents trapped in continuous economic and social problems.

  • “Culture of Poverty”

    • Unemployment

    • Reliance on welfare/ assistance

    • Alcoholism

    • Drug addiction

    • Lack of education

    • Crime

    • Homelessness

Economic issues
Economic Issues

  • Inner city residents require public services, but cannot pay taxes to cover them.

  • Two choices:

  • Reduce Services (close libraries, reduce public transit, outdated school equipment, SCHOOL CLOSINGS!)

    • Middle class residents may leave

  • Raise Taxes