Phoenix, Falling?

A recent Economist article reports that Phoenix, which for awhile
could do no wrong, is succumbing to crime, malaise, and
disillusionment. Rather than lazily pointing the finger at the many
low-skill immigrants that arrive from south of the border, the article
delves into a couple of other interesting possible causes.

For one, minorities have been largely left out of government and city
planning functions, resulting in far fewer and less vibrant ethnic
neighborhoods like the ones that make San Francisco, Chicago, and New
York so interesting. Others speculate that the fact that everyone is
from somewhere else has left Phoenicians with no sense of Phoenician
pride and identity, in the same way that homegrowners from Dallas,
Detroit, and Boston do. Speaking of being anti-social and
disconnected, while Philadelphia gets denser and denser in the good
ways - downtown night life is hopping because everybody's out walking
around - high temps and wide streets translate into very little foot
traffic in the streets of Phoenix.

It looks like year-round golf and a white-hot population and
employment growth aren't always enough to make a healthy city. And,
from where we sit in Philadelphia, who knew that being welcoming to
minorities, bleeding Eagles green, and having narrow streets would
lead to so much good, economically and emotionally?


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