U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Urban Planning
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
 
 
Old 01-17-2010, 03:15 PM
 
1,164 posts, read 1,793,754 times
Reputation: 801

Advertisements

Although I grew up on the fringes of Appalachia, I've spent my entire adult life - the past 20 years or so - in Houston. I bought a house in a working-class neighborhood a little more than a decade ago. The neighborhood (subdivision) had some diversity back then, and over the last 10 years it's increased much, and probably now has a majority Hispanic population with a significant African-American presence. Home values kept ticking upwards. No one dumped their house. It's still considered a good 'starter home' subdivision. It has always been a pleasant, safe place to live and it still is.

I'm aware of white flight. I've always thought it was something that occurred back in the 1970s - maybe extending into the 1980s - and it has been pretty much non-existent since then. Now I'm in the process of purchasing a home in an inner-ring suburb of another city. The house is an incredible deal - totally livable, about the same shape as the house I bought in Houston, in a decent, low-crime neighborhood - and less than $30K. After crunching some numbers, I figured out that the values in this particular neighborhood have fallen something like 25% in the past 10 years, despite the city overall having a relatively good economy.

So I'm getting the home inspection done, and a neighbor - white guy in his late fifties - starts talking to me. He starts moaning and groaning about how the neighborhood has gone downhill. He's going to put his house on the market. And he's not going to get anything for it. Then he said something that I hadn't heard in years - 'and it's all because those blacks are moving in.'

So, apparently, the house I'm buying is being dumped (for half the cost they purchased it for in 2000) because of white flight. Is this as stupid and anachronistic as I think it is or have I been living in some kind of isolated bubble in Houston? Does white flight still exist in other cities, or is this city I'm moving to an anomaly?
Quick reply to this message

 
Old 01-17-2010, 04:49 PM
 
737 posts, read 1,040,984 times
Reputation: 192
I think the question which needs to be answered in order to answer yours is
"How much White Flight can still happen in 2010?"
Some cities may have undergone such dramatic White Flight back in the 70s and 80s that it leaves very few in the actual city to leave.

I think in cities which have a larger land area like Houston may have White Flight from neighborhoods like you mentioned where people can move to another part of the city and still be within the city limits. Detroit is probably the best example of a city which experienced White Flight. Detroit is only 143 square miles as a city whereas Houston is roughly 600 square miles. That provides several more opportunities for White Flight to occur within the city where individuals can move from neighbors and still be in the city, not the suburban municipalities, that way it may not affect the demographic breakdown of the actual city. Which may be true for all sunbelt cities since they tend to be geographically much larger than cities in the North.

North
Detroit: 143 sqm
Chicago: 234 sqm
Philadelphia: 135 sqm
Cleveland: 83 sqm
Columbus: 214 sqm

Sunbelt
Houston: 602 sqm
Dallas: 385 sqm
Phoenix: 517 sqm
San Antonio: 412 sqm

Even if Chicago, Philadelphia and Detroit where combined they would still be have less land area than Houston!
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-17-2010, 05:30 PM
 
1,164 posts, read 1,793,754 times
Reputation: 801
Quote:
Originally Posted by CityPerson09 View Post
I think in cities which have a larger land area like Houston may have White Flight from neighborhoods like you mentioned where people can move to another part of the city and still be within the city limits.
I'm talking about neighborhoods, not entire cities. In 20 years of living in Houston, I've never seen people leave a neighborhood, with the corresponding drop in home values, because of race, or even ethnicity. I've actually seen the opposite, African-American communities totally obliterated by gentrification (Freedman's Town).

In the particular neighborhood I'm moving to - a different city, 1500 miles away - people are dumping houses for ridiculous prices because of racial elements. It just seems so odd, but from your post I gather it's the norm in a large part of the US.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-17-2010, 05:31 PM
 
56,706 posts, read 81,017,273 times
Reputation: 12548
Quote:
Originally Posted by CityPerson09 View Post
I think the question which needs to be answered in order to answer yours is
"How much White Flight can still happen in 2010?"
Some cities may have undergone such dramatic White Flight back in the 70s and 80s that it leaves very few in the actual city to leave.

I think in cities which have a larger land area like Houston may have White Flight from neighborhoods like you mentioned where people can move to another part of the city and still be within the city limits. Detroit is probably the best example of a city which experienced White Flight. Detroit is only 143 square miles as a city whereas Houston is roughly 600 square miles. That provides several more opportunities for White Flight to occur within the city where individuals can move from neighbors and still be in the city, not the suburban municipalities, that way it may not affect the demographic breakdown of the actual city. Which may be true for all sunbelt cities since they tend to be geographically much larger than cities in the North.

North
Detroit: 143 sqm
Chicago: 234 sqm
Philadelphia: 135 sqm
Cleveland: 83 sqm
Columbus: 214 sqm

Sunbelt
Houston: 602 sqm
Dallas: 385 sqm
Phoenix: 517 sqm
San Antonio: 412 sqm

Even if Chicago, Philadelphia and Detroit where combined they would still be have less land area than Houston!
Also, the dynamics of racial housing patterns are different in the South too. Blacks live throughout the metros in the South and generally have for a long time, whereas in the North, it might be certain areas of concentration of Blacks or other minority groups in a metro.

Then, you have the issue of gentrification, in which affluent people that are generally White, are moving back into cities. So, some cities might actually see the opposite, with minority groups being forced to suburban areas.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-17-2010, 05:36 PM
 
Location: NoVA
1,383 posts, read 2,272,861 times
Reputation: 1930
White flight is very real in my neighborhood. It's chugging along pretty slowly, but its nonetheless been pretty steady over the last 10 years or so.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-17-2010, 06:02 PM
 
257 posts, read 318,948 times
Reputation: 114
White flight will always exist, as long as diversity is forced onto White areas.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-17-2010, 07:55 PM
 
Location: Southern Minnesota
5,990 posts, read 11,575,042 times
Reputation: 3235
Quote:
Originally Posted by LZKay1 View Post
White flight will always exist, as long as diversity is forced onto White areas.
Diversity is "forced" onto "White" areas? This is America. Anyone has the right to live wherever they want.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-17-2010, 09:07 PM
 
102 posts, read 265,617 times
Reputation: 94
We are in the midst of a big flip in this country between the cities in the suburbs. Younger people prefer to live in an urban environment, so the cities are being gentrified. Poor people are leaving the cities for the decaying suburbs full of dilapidated foreclosures, empty strip malls and boarded up gas stations.

People fled cities during the crack epidemic, but with the homicide numbers coming down 20 years later, cities are starting to regain their appeal. Convenience, culture, public transit, parks, fountains, clubs, dives, bars, eateries, stuff to do, etc...
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-18-2010, 05:53 AM
 
Location: Youngstown, Oh.
4,896 posts, read 7,663,909 times
Reputation: 4508
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scalpy McScalperson View Post
We are in the midst of a big flip in this country between the cities in the suburbs. Younger people prefer to live in an urban environment, so the cities are being gentrified. Poor people are leaving the cities for the decaying suburbs full of dilapidated foreclosures, empty strip malls and boarded up gas stations.

People fled cities during the crack epidemic, but with the homicide numbers coming down 20 years later, cities are starting to regain their appeal. Convenience, culture, public transit, parks, fountains, clubs, dives, bars, eateries, stuff to do, etc...
Hmm, I wonder if we'll see a new kind of donut develop? The exurbs continue to be developed for those people who hang on to the idea that you need a half-acre of grass and a car to be happy. Cities revitalize. And the inner suburbs develop into a ring of poverty.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-18-2010, 07:19 AM
 
1,164 posts, read 1,793,754 times
Reputation: 801
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scalpy McScalperson View Post
We are in the midst of a big flip in this country between the cities in the suburbs. Younger people prefer to live in an urban environment, so the cities are being gentrified. Poor people are leaving the cities for the decaying suburbs full of dilapidated foreclosures, empty strip malls and boarded up gas stations.
I wasn't referring to those post-WWII suburbs. This suburb was one of the street-car suburbs - dense and walkable, with easy transit connections and 15 minutes to downtown. The kind of suburb like the Heights in Houston, where people actually pay a premium to live, but with much more convenient mass transit.

Maybe I should just stop fretting about this. The neighborhood has low crime, it's in a good location, I like the house and it's less than the price of my other half's Accord. If people are being stupid and dumping their homes for half their value, I should take advantage of their ignorance. If it depreciates, so what; I don't expect the car to appreciate.
Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


 
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:
Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Urban Planning
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top