Is a Progressive City Possible? Reviving Urban Liberalism for the Twenty-First Century

23 Pages Posted: 20 Jul 2013  

Richard Schragger

University of Virginia School of Law

Date Written: July 1, 2013

Abstract

This Essay highlights the challenges faced by policymakers at a time when the concept of the “progressive city” seems almost an oxymoron. The conventional wisdom holds that cities have little capacity to ameliorate economic inequality and other social ills and should instead focus on competing for and attracting rich, mobile residents and firms. This Essay urges resistance to this conventional wisdom, arguing for a less consumerist and more egalitarian approach to city policy. The Essay describes local efforts to improve workers’ welfare and suggests ways that progressive policymakers can address economic and social inequality despite local resource limits. It concludes by describing the political and structural impediments to a renewed urban liberalism.

Keywords: city, urban policy, right to the city, urban resurgence, inequality, urban liberalism, federalism, labor, living wage

Suggested Citation

Schragger, Richard, Is a Progressive City Possible? Reviving Urban Liberalism for the Twenty-First Century (July 1, 2013). Harvard Law & Policy Review, Vol. 7, p. 901, 2013; Virginia Public Law and Legal Theory Research Paper No. 2013-22. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2295697

Richard Schragger (Contact Author)

University of Virginia School of Law ( email )

580 Massie Road
Charlottesville, VA 22903
United States

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