83 Yale L.J. 637 (1973-1974)
Opening up the Suburbs

handle is hein.journals/ylr83 and id is 647 raw text is: Opening Up The Suburbs. By Anthony Downs. New Haven:
Yale University Press, 1973. Pp. 219. $7.95.
Reviewed by A. Dan Tarlockt
As every American knows, since World War II upper- and middle-
income families have moved into the suburbs and left central city
residences to poorer families.' Cities have lost not only their wealthier
residents; industries also have joined the flight to suburbia. The
shift to truck rather than fixed rail or water transportation and the
construction of the interstate highway system have aided dispersal,
since all parts of a metropolitan area are now suitable for industrial
and residential development. Stripped of wealth and business, many
central city areas have become ghettos of unrelieved poverty and
manifold social problems, with a small sterile core of high-rise
commercial buildings.
The low-income families in the cities need inexpensive, small, and
decent dwelling units.2 Most buildings recently constructed in cen-
tral cities, however, have been offices or high-rise, high-rent apart-
ments. In theory decent city housing vacated by departing suburban-
ites should trickle or filter down in good condition to low-
income families remaining in the city.3 In actuality as the housing
filters down it inevitably deteriorates and poor housing remains a
familiar problem of the low-income urban family. Nor is housing
readily available in suburbia, for the problem-ridden poor are sys-
tematically excluded.
Suburban governments effect this exclusion by maintaining low
population densities and requiring high construction standards. The
homes that can be constructed are thus far too expensive for low-
income families.4 Racial prejudice has doubtless played a role in the
exclusionary zoning of the suburbs.5 But suburban governments pre-
fer to attract only middle- and upper-income families as residents
f Professor of Law, Indiana University School of Law, Bloomington.
I. See, e.g., E. BANFIELD, THE UNHEAVENLY CITY 24-32 (1970).
2. See Williams, Doughty & Potter, The Strategy On Exclusionary Zoning: Towards
What Rationale and What Remedy?, 1972 LAND-UsE ANNUAL 177, 180.
3. For a useful collection of papers on filtering see D. MANDELKER & R. MONTGOMERY,
HOUSING IN AMERICA: PROBLEMS AND PERsPEcTIvEs 229-72 (1973).
4. See Williams & Norman, Exclusionary Land-Use Controls: The Case of North-
eastern New Jersey, 22 SYRACUSE L. REV. 475 (1971).
5. The resident of suburbia is concerned not with what but with whom. His
overriding motivation is less economic than social. R. BABCOCK, THE ZONING GAME 31
(1966) (emphasis in original).

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