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William H. Frey photo

The New Urban Revival in the United States

Publication Abstract

Frey, William H. 1993. "The New Urban Revival in the United States." Urban Studies, 30(4-5): 741-74.

This paper evaluates three broad dimensions of the new urban revival in the U.S., based on results from the 1990 census: (1) a return to urbanisation in the U.S. -- following a period of "counter-urbanisation" during the 1970s -- in which new patterns of urban growth and decline are faster paced than in the 1950s and 1960s; (2) expanded growth of the nation's minority

populations -- primarily Blacks, Hispanics, and Asians; (3) continued spread of population and jobs outward from historic central cities of metropolitan areas. This evaluation is preceded by a review of major explanations for the 1970s "counter-urbanization" phenomena in the U.S. and their respective forecasts for the future. The three major types of explanations are period explanations, regional restructuring explanations, and deconcentration explanations. The study concludes that the new urban revival in the U.S. is not a return to traditional post-World War II urbanisation but is unique, less for growth patterns than for the pace at which they are changing. Both the geographical and the temporal patterns of 1980s urban growth give credent to the regional restructuring and period explanations of for 1970s "counterurbanization."

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