Inner Cities and Chicago, IL

BACKGROUND ON INNER CITIES AND CHICAGO, IL
November 5, 1999

BACKGROUND INFORMATION ON INNER CITIES

A booming national economy, coupled with the success of strong local efforts and the Clinton Administrationís community development agenda, has helped many cities experience a strong fiscal and economic recovery. But while many inner cities — poor urban neighborhoods within larger central cities — have seen economic gains, they still have not fully participated in the economic prosperity and may face the challenges of population decline, loss of middle-class families, slow job growth, income inequality, and poverty. Furthermore, inner city neighborhoods often lag behind the strong economies of the vibrant metropolitan areas in which they are located — and at the end of the 20th century there are still pockets of poverty amidst the growing national economic prosperity.

THE GOOD NEWS FOR OUR NATIONíS CITIES

SOME CITIES STILL FACE CHALLENGES TO ECONOMIC PROSPERITY

BACKGROUND ON ENGLEWOOD, CHICAGO

Englewood is a community area located on Chicagoís south side. It was once a stable middle class area, but has now become one of the cityís poorest communities.

During the first part of this century, the neighborhood flourished as one of the busiest commercial areas in the city, serving as a profitable retail center and home to many cultural amenities. However, at the beginning of the second-half of this century, commercial activity in the neighborhood began to decline with the onset of competition from newly built shopping centers in nearby suburban areas and as a result, by 1960 many long-time residents had moved out, causing housing to become vacant and abandoned. Key facts about Englewood include:

EMPOWERMENT ZONE /ENTERPRISE COMMUNITY INITIATIVE TO HELP REVITALIZE INNER CITIES AND RURAL AREAS

In order to help revitalize inner-cities and isolated rural areas, the Clinton Administration has, among other initiatives, designated 135 urban and rural distressed communities across the country as Empowerment Zones (EZs) and Enterprise Communities (ECs). This includes a first round of EZs and ECs, designated in 1994, and a second round, designated in January 1999.

BACKGROUND , CHICAGO, IL

The City of Chicago is located on the western shore of Lake Michigan and it is the third largest city in the United States. Over the last two decades, Chicago's economy has changed from one rich with high-paying manufacturing jobs, leaving behind a work force unsuited for the new service economy. As a result, its population decreased due to out migration throughout the 1980's, and other related urban problems, like crime, drugs, and the decline in its housing stock have also contributed to the deterioration of many Chicago once vibrant neighborhoods. Key Facts about Chicago include:

 

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