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55 UCLA L. Rev. 1095 (2007-2008)
Cities inside Out: Race, Poverty, and Exclusion at the Urban Fringe

handle is hein.journals/uclalr55 and id is 1105 raw text is: CITIES INSIDE OUT: RACE, POVERTY, AND EXCLUSION
AT THE URBAN FRINGE
Michelle Wilde Anderson
Are county governments capable stewards of urban life? Across the country,
millions of low-income households live in urban enclaves that rely on county govern-
ment for their most proximate tier of general purpose local government. Material
conditions in many of these neighborhoods are reminiscent of early twentieth-century
rural poverty, while others are a dystopic vision of twenty-first century urbanity,
with clusters of housing tucked in between landfills, industrial plants, and
freeways. This Article provides a vocabulary and a conceptual baseline for
understanding this national pattern of unincorporated urban areas and presents
a qualitative study of these neighborhoods in California, Texas, Florida, and
North Carolina. It explores the governmental status of these communities,
and asks, for the first time, whether two tiers of general purpose local government-a
city and a county-offer urbanized areas greater participatory voice, stronger
protection from undesirable land uses, improved collective services, and greater
housing choice than county rule alone. Providing a framework for evaluating local
government, this Article posits that housing-market mobility, neighborhood
habitability, and political voice are the three pillars of adequate local government.
By this metric, we can no longer assume that county governments are equivalent
to municipalities.
IN TRO DU CTIO N  .................................................................................................................. 1096
I.   UNINCORPORATED    URBAN   AREAs ........................................................................... 1100
A .  D efining  the  Problem   ........................................................................................ 1101
B.  Unincorporated  U rban  A merica ....................................................................... 1106
C .  Traversing  A cadem ic  C ategories ...................................................................... 1113
1.  M  unicipal U nderbounding ........................................................................ 1113
2.  Related Patterns: Colonias and Black Rural Poverty ............................... 1115
*    Environmental Law Fellow, Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger LLP. I am grateful to The
Chief Justice Earl Warren Institute for Race, Ethnicity, and Diversity at Boalt Hall School of Law for
providing me with a writing fellowship to undertake this project. Further thanks go to Kathy
Abrams, Suzanne Borghei, Guido Calabresi, Juan Carlos Cancino, Phil Frickey, Gerald Frug, Tim
Iglesias, Sonya Lebsack, Jennifer Mnookin, Andrea Peterson, Joe Singer, Kirk Stark, David Super,
and the attorneys of Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger, LLP for their thoughtful comments on this
Article and their support of this research. A wide range of interviewees supported this project with
their time and knowledge. Above all, this Article is the culmination of Ian Haney Lopez's tireless
mentorship and Sade Borghei's unbending confidence.

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