As someone who lives in the city, I am constantly referred to as an “urban pioneer.” This term grates me in ways that require a whole new post. However, in an attempt to be controversial, I’d like to throw some blame onto white people of the “greatest generation” for their abandonment of the city. Last year, The Wall Street Journal published an article, declaring the end of white flight. After some reserach into related articles, I came across a discuss thread about the WSJ article on NPR.
Only three posts down on the page was a respondent describing her situation in Richmond, VA. Below, I have pasted her description, as it paints a good portrait of urban life in this city (although, it does not describe the greater regional issues between the city and counties):
I love this topic and wanted to give you my thoughts on city living. My husband and I live in the city of Richmond, VA. We are both white and from the Seattle area…he grew up in the suburbs and I am a city girl. We looked for houses in Seattle but found nothing we could afford so ended up transplanting to affordable Richmond. There are many upsides to living in the city…lots of independant family owned business, museums, art galleries, parks decent public transit, and best of all, side walks! I refuse to live in a place that doesn’t have side walks. Also there are many other politically progressive transplants like ourselves (mostly white).
On the negative side, the property taxes are VERY high and the city’s population seems to be mostly a minority of white middle class liberals and a majority of poor African Americans…this has not made for a great mix in the public schools. I wish more middle class Afican Americans would move to the city. But despite the high taxes and bad schools we intend to stay and raise our family in the city.