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Old 10-31-2011, 11:01 AM
 
Location: Saint Louis City
1,563 posts, read 3,497,401 times
Reputation: 647

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^ My husband's Grandmother always said after WWII there was a huge housing shortage and people had to start moving North (Pinelawn, Jennings, etc). We could never fit that many people back in the city limits. A huge number of the two/four families, were converted back to one families, there just wouldn't be enough housing. I think about 500,000 would be ideal, enough to fill in the neighborhoods, but not overcrowded.
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Old 10-31-2011, 05:23 PM
 
3 posts, read 5,437 times
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I use to live in "Soxtin" Sikeston long time ago, my accent has been messed up ever since
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Old 10-31-2011, 05:24 PM
 
3 posts, read 5,437 times
Reputation: 11
shoot, that was meant for the "Missouri accents" thread, my bad
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Old 10-31-2011, 06:17 PM
 
Location: Kansas City, MO
3,572 posts, read 6,985,018 times
Reputation: 2589
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrRational View Post
Most industrial cities had a population peak at about 1950...
most of this was wake from WW2 production jobs.

Since then even the domestic use industrial work has declined...
and not just in St Louis.

hth
I tend to peg the peak of industrial cities as being 1970, but spot on.

As for you all mentioned STL being landlocked, that's true, but in reality every industrial city has lost population in it's core/original boundaries, much the way STL has - though STL, Detroit, and others are in the lead of this trend.

It has to with with racial issues, desegregation, white flight, the fact people had more kids back then, as well as the fall of the working class - the latter doesn't get enough credit and gets overshadowed by other issues.

The fall of the working class as a result of the fall of industrial jobs is also a major reason these cities have so much crime, including violence. Industrial jobs are what drew a diverse population to these cities in the first place and is the reason they have large black populations. Then industrial jobs hit their peak and have been in decline ever since, leaving the working class scrambling - the most unfortunate of whom were left behind and are still residing in what has become America's ghettos. Here, you have the most unfortunate, least skilled, least educated, etc. segregated amongst themselves enabling and feeding off one another, without anybody to really look up to in the community. It's a mess.

That said, what we need in these cities and this country as a whole the most is jobs. Jobs are #1. What rubs me the wrong way is that many of the cities with these troubled, depressed populations sort of ignore that portion of the population and focus on recruiting white-collar jobs, young college grads, and the prestige of large companies, while not addressing the needs of the unskilled workers who aren't college educated and many or most of whom are not cut out for college. Many of these folks don't even have the demeanor, interpersonal skills, or language skills to work in call centers. These people and their communities need industrial jobs - production, distribution, warehousing and logistics, whatever.

Not to mention, something that works needs to be done with the urban school districts - to effectively serve current students and demographics, NOT just to attract the middle class.

I'm not sure what caused the fall of industry and the working-class. Part of it is globalization and China, India, and other smaller countries, but I think there were other things at play here in this country that pushed those jobs away and whatever can be done to fix that needs to be. Unions need to be less greedy and entitled, corporations need to support their communities. The problem is now we have this dysfunctional population that needs jobs, but most companies even for the most unskilled jobs, don't want to deal with trying to basically raise and make responsible/dependable young men whose parents weren't able to do it.

It would be interesting if one could compare the unemployment rates of the populations living in the cities (or original portions of these cities) with the unemployment rate overall.

All of that said, I think old houses and all they entail - front porches, alleys, gridded/thru streets, walkabilty, etc. have sort of become stigmatized themselves as "ghetto", and even back around WWII when the suburbs took off, a house with a garage and everything suburban housing entails sort of became "prestigious". I've actually witnessed people think an area is ghetto just because it is old.

Anyway, to those who read this far, I guess I felt like hearing myself talk. There's some stuff to think about, take it or leave it, in regard to why central cities have lost their population.
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Old 10-31-2011, 07:14 PM
 
Location: The City of Shoes and Booze
136 posts, read 237,355 times
Reputation: 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by MOKAN View Post
I tend to peg the peak of industrial cities as being 1970, but spot on.

As for you all mentioned STL being landlocked, that's true, but in reality every industrial city has lost population in it's core/original boundaries, much the way STL has - though STL, Detroit, and others are in the lead of this trend.

It has to with with racial issues, desegregation, white flight, the fact people had more kids back then, as well as the fall of the working class - the latter doesn't get enough credit and gets overshadowed by other issues.

The fall of the working class as a result of the fall of industrial jobs is also a major reason these cities have so much crime, including violence. Industrial jobs are what drew a diverse population to these cities in the first place and is the reason they have large black populations. Then industrial jobs hit their peak and have been in decline ever since, leaving the working class scrambling - the most unfortunate of whom were left behind and are still residing in what has become America's ghettos. Here, you have the most unfortunate, least skilled, least educated, etc. segregated amongst themselves enabling and feeding off one another, without anybody to really look up to in the community. It's a mess.

That said, what we need in these cities and this country as a whole the most is jobs. Jobs are #1. What rubs me the wrong way is that many of the cities with these troubled, depressed populations sort of ignore that portion of the population and focus on recruiting white-collar jobs, young college grads, and the prestige of large companies, while not addressing the needs of the unskilled workers who aren't college educated and many or most of whom are not cut out for college. Many of these folks don't even have the demeanor, interpersonal skills, or language skills to work in call centers. These people and their communities need industrial jobs - production, distribution, warehousing and logistics, whatever.

Not to mention, something that works needs to be done with the urban school districts - to effectively serve current students and demographics, NOT just to attract the middle class.

I'm not sure what caused the fall of industry and the working-class. Part of it is globalization and China, India, and other smaller countries, but I think there were other things at play here in this country that pushed those jobs away and whatever can be done to fix that needs to be. Unions need to be less greedy and entitled, corporations need to support their communities. The problem is now we have this dysfunctional population that needs jobs, but most companies even for the most unskilled jobs, don't want to deal with trying to basically raise and make responsible/dependable young men whose parents weren't able to do it.

It would be interesting if one could compare the unemployment rates of the populations living in the cities (or original portions of these cities) with the unemployment rate overall.

All of that said, I think old houses and all they entail - front porches, alleys, gridded/thru streets, walkabilty, etc. have sort of become stigmatized themselves as "ghetto", and even back around WWII when the suburbs took off, a house with a garage and everything suburban housing entails sort of became "prestigious". I've actually witnessed people think an area is ghetto just because it is old.

Anyway, to those who read this far, I guess I felt like hearing myself talk. There's some stuff to think about, take it or leave it, in regard to why central cities have lost their population.
This is one of the most complete and truthly short summaries that I've read on this forum of what happened to the industrial Midwest and Northeast cities, and also you depict an accurate tell of the mindset of the American suburban populations view of the central cities from the 1970s onward.

Also makes you wonder what if a lot of these industrial American cities didn't bend over backwards to accomadate the suburban lifestyle by making parking lots/garages and building unecessary highways (i.e. I-44 through St. Louis) and did what Vancouver did in taking the money for highway construction and build more intelligently with density in residential units and public transportation...we can only wonder. In saying that all of those cities still would've lost population and jobs to foreign countries and the suburbs, but not at the rate they actually did.
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Old 10-31-2011, 08:48 PM
 
Location: Saint Louis, MO
3,385 posts, read 7,639,994 times
Reputation: 2238
I'd also wonder how much of this is caused by the workers themselves. Not that the workers priced themselves out of the market or anything, but that the worker wanted a better life for their families. How many dad's worked their tails off in the "plant, factory, assembly line, etc" for 30 years so they could raise their family with a nice middle class lifestyle. They broke their back for 8-10 hours a day, to put food on the table, and keep a roof over their family's head, and that lifestyle was the LAST thing these people wanted for their children. So when the time came, dad said to the son "I want you to go off to college so you can have a better life than I did"...

It's amazing what expectations can do. Each generation is wanting to do better than the previous. One man is happy with his flat in North City, his son buys new construction in the burbs, his son has to buy an even large place, etc etc etc...probably can explain part of the McMansions we've seen in recent years. Because individuals finances haven't improved nearly as significantly as their desires, you see people moving further away from the city, so they can have a "better" life than their parents. I think we're seeing some reversal in this trend recently, and that's good. In all honesty some sensibility may go a long way in curing this nation's love affair with debt.
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Old 10-31-2011, 10:26 PM
 
Location: Kansas City, MO
3,572 posts, read 6,985,018 times
Reputation: 2589
Quote:
Originally Posted by masterwood89 View Post
This is one of the most complete and truthly short summaries that I've read on this forum of what happened to the industrial Midwest and Northeast cities, and also you depict an accurate tell of the mindset of the American suburban populations view of the central cities from the 1970s onward.

Also makes you wonder what if a lot of these industrial American cities didn't bend over backwards to accomadate the suburban lifestyle by making parking lots/garages and building unecessary highways (i.e. I-44 through St. Louis) and did what Vancouver did in taking the money for highway construction and build more intelligently with density in residential units and public transportation...we can only wonder. In saying that all of those cities still would've lost population and jobs to foreign countries and the suburbs, but not at the rate they actually did.
I tried, I feel like I have some understanding of the bigger picture but lack an understanding of the specifics and facts regarding the history involved.

Vancouver is pretty awesome. I'd like to go there someday. Canadian cities in general seem to have developed better all around. They lack a lot of the problems we have though, such as incredibly excessive violent crime.
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Old 11-01-2011, 08:28 PM
 
Location: St. Louis
1,221 posts, read 2,441,259 times
Reputation: 791
There's many places in St. Louis where you would never guess the city lost over half of its population. Then there are others where it's painfully obvious. This leads me to believe that the population loss was not uniform, and the 2010 census bears this out. Even though the city continued to lose population, some neighborhoods showed huge increases. Like Downtown West, which showed something like a 300% increase. Then there are other neighborhoods which still lost population but display dramatic signs of revitalization, like the Grove.

To put it simply, population loss alone doesn't necessarily mean the city is dying. In a lot of neighborhoods they are rehabbing 2- and 4- family lower-income flats into 1- and 2-family higher-income flats. This results in population loss, but an overall improvement in the neighborhood. You see, statistics can sometimes lie.
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Old 11-01-2011, 10:41 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
37 posts, read 90,143 times
Reputation: 30
Sometimes I dream about STL county finally giving in and allowing annexation...then I wake up and realize it will never happen. What a shame, it would make St Louis look so much more impressive, similar to how Indianapolis looks now after those annexations in the '60s.
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Old 11-02-2011, 07:04 AM
 
Location: St. Louis
1,221 posts, read 2,441,259 times
Reputation: 791
I really don't think annexation is the answer. Memphis can annex and it's led to some negative results. As soon as the city annexes an unincorporated suburban area, white flight begins anew and people end up moving even farther out, resulting in even more sprawl. The area that it annexed then goes way downhill and becomes a suburban wasteland. Annexing suburban areas into the city lowers the population density and adds vast swaths of land that the city may or may not be able to provide services to. I'd hate to see that happen to St. Louis.
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