Originally Posted by openheads
Being a New Jersey native............ This list makes me:
a) Affirm how much white flight has effected NJ being one of the richest per capita income states in the country (being squeezed between NY & Philly) & our suburnan nature.
b) Drives home how much that decimated our urban centers. De industrialization & white flight have made ghost towns out of our once proud cities.
Young professionals are a prime target for NJ's urban areas. Our cities are in great locations & in desperate need of revitalization to attract such individuals. Along with NJ's sizable suburban clout............... We could truly become a force to be reckoned with if our cities got their I SH together.
NJ will have a long row to hoe in any attempt to re-habilitate its cities. Any sensible person will realize that crime is not uniform in regards to any particular major NJ city. There are sections within each, that have exceedingly high crime rates and sections that that have crime rates that more closely mirror their nearby suburbs. While those latter areas might have some appeal to a young professional couple, the deal-breaker for most of them would be schools. While the better elementary schools within cities have test scores that are not too far removed from their suburban counterparts, the high schools tend to have test scores at the bottom of the barrel. What set of "educated" parents would want to subject their children to the violence and drugs that permeate most urban high schools. Many of those urban high schools are really only a couple of steps removed from the "model" of how "prisons" are managed! What responsible parent would want their kid to graduate from a school where the SAT scores are maybe 50 points higher than what someone could attain by simply signing their name on the test and leave?
One could argue that parents in this situation could send their kids to a private school. This might negate any savings on a house, that couple realized by moving into the city in the first place. I've found that in talking to the kind of "young professional" who you mentioned ( my niece with her new Phd & future wedding plans) that a move to any "NJ city" isn't even on her "radar" when it comes to house shopping. Urban homesteading is really best suited for "hardy older pioneer childless professional couples" at this point! Given the present economic circumstances that pervade the country at this time, things are unlikely to change in any positive way for NJ cities.