Century staff and fellows paid a visit to Battery Park Thursday night to welcome the summer solstice. The evening’s festivities followed a week in which we published a dizzying array of analysis, infographics, and narratives. Here’s what generated the most buzz on Blog of the Century last week.
Graphics whiz Abby Grimshaw lays out for us a current picture of “Megalopolis”—the urban sprawl first identified by geographer Jean Gottmann in a 1961 Century Foundation report. Does a long commute, packed subways, or booming cities sound familiar? Hint: Megalopolis is mega-growing.
Ben Landy unpacks the 2013 House farm bill, finding that it’s dated, restrictive and ultimately counterintuitive. As the Republican-dominated House of Representatives contemplates reducing the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the well-being of millions of food stamp recipients hinges on policy choices. Can cuts to SNAP help those in need?
Rick Kahlenberg, longtime proponent of class-based affirmative action, responds systematically to Sherrilyn Ifill’s defense of race-based policies. The Century fellow (Kahlenberg) and NAACP Legal Defense President (Ifill) grapple with some of the thorniest concerns regarding affirmative action. The discussion comes down to one question: are race and class a “false dichotomy,” or a true imbalance?
Greg Lewis maps out America’s new “Megalopoli.” As populations become denser nationwide, urban planners should consider Jean Gottmann’s original report, and Wolf Von Eckert’s 1964 description of the trend. Von Eckert’s words ring true: “It is difficult to tell where one city ends and another begins.” These Century works from the ‘60s prove to be ever-relevant.
Moshe Marvit observes that lagging membership should be the first concern of labor unions. Since Taft-Hartley in 1947, private-sector unions have slipped into a precarious state of erosion. But, Marvit writes, there are legal means by which to strengthen labor—and one solution may lie in the Civil Rights Act.
Williams grad, Cambridge grad and Harvard student Lindsay Moore recounts her community college beginnings. Having been insulted by a thoughtless high school teacher, she found a “second chance” in community college. Educational opportunities, she suggests, should come along for discouraged students more than once in a blue moon.