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Hosted Event  |  Professor Alan Ehrenhalt on The Great Inversion and the Future of the American City

Presented by Buffalo State in Celebrating the Year of the City

Tuesday, October 16, 2012, 7–9 pm

Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Auditorium  

In The Great Inversion and the Future of the American City we travel the nation with Alan Ehrenhalt, one of our leading urbanists, as he explains how America’s cities are changing, what makes them succeed or fail, and what this means for our future.

Just a couple of decades ago, we took it for granted that inner cities were the preserve of immigrants and the poor, and that suburbs were the chosen destination of those who could afford them. Today, a demographic inversion is taking place: Central cities increasingly are where the affluent want to live, while suburbs are becoming home to poorer people and those who come to America from other parts of the world. Highly educated members of the emerging millennial generation are showing a decided preference for urban life and are being joined in many places by a new class of affluent retirees.

Ehrenhalt shows us how the commercial canyons of lower Manhattan are becoming residential neighborhoods, and how mass transit has revitalized inner-city communities in Chicago and Brooklyn. He explains why car-dominated cities like Phoenix and Charlotte have sought to build twenty-first-century downtowns from scratch, while sprawling postwar suburbs are seeking to attract young people with their own form of urbanized experience.

The Great Inversion is an eye-opening and thoroughly engaging look at our urban society and its future.

Alan Ehrenhalt served as executive editor of Governing Magazine for 19 years, and is currently executive editor of Stateline, a news service about state government that is part of the Pew Charitable Trusts.
He is a frequent contributor to the New York Times Book Review and op-ed page, the Washington Post Book World, the New Republic, and the Wall Street Journal. He has authored 4 books.

The lecture is presented by Buffalo State in celebration of The Year of the City.