UMBC's Center for Urban Environmental Research and Education (CUERE) will release on Thursday, May 12 "The State of the Inner Suburbs: An Examination of Suburban Baltimore, 1980 to 2000." Like so many American cities, many of Baltimore's older suburbs are mimicking the problems of the central city: household income is declining; the population is shrinking and aging; and the infrastructure is weakening - yet housing costs are skyrocketing. The prospects for stable neighborhoods and affordable housing are not encouraging, unless action is taken in certain key neighborhoods.
Metropolitan Baltimore is unique in that there is essentially one government - Baltimore County - rather than dozens or even hundreds of municipalities as surround other cities, such as Cleveland, Philadelphia and Chicago. Opportunities, already becoming recognized, include the possibilities for growth in the inner suburbs close to the Interstate and close to the water.
The report, available as a PDF file at www.umbc.edu/cuere/inner_ring, is co-authored by Bernadette Hanlon and Thomas Vicino, both of whom are Ph.D. candidates in UMBC's Department of Public Policy, is embargoed until Thursday, May 12. (NO exceptions.)
Hanlon and Vicino's research suggests that the state of Greater Baltimore's inner suburbs raises important and worrying public policy issues just as they also have the potential for easing housing strains and providing opportunities for growth.