Movement of upper and middle-class
people from core areas to surrounding
outskirts. The process began in the mid-
nineteenth century but became a mass
phenomenon in the late-twentieth
1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000
Pop. in Cities, Suburbs, and Nonmetro Areas
1950 to 2000
Population of Chicago peaks in 1950
at 3.7 million
1970: 48% of population lives in city;
60% of all available jobs
1990: 38% of pop and 37% of jobs
2000: 2/3rds of jobs (suburbs)
2000: 90% low income jobs (suburbs)
WHICH ONE IS THE MOST IMPORTANT?
Why has the development of suburbs in North American
metropolitan areas greatly accelerated since the 1950s and
Four main reasons:
(2) Housing production
(3) Landscape preference
(4) Social and demographic trends
Freeways and transport corridors
increased accessibility of the suburbs.
Federal Highway Act of 1956: most
important government action in the 20th
› 32 billion and 40,000 miles across USA
› “The amount of concrete poured to form
these roadways would build six sidewalks to
the moon” IKE…but what was the original
Housing was produced by large developers
on large tracts of cheap land. 70% of new
homes were constructed by 10% of builders.
Mass produced styles made housing
cheaper and more affordable. (Levittowns)
Post-war mortgage programs. FHA (1934)
and VA (1948) loans guaranteed creditors
security on their loans by reducing down
payments and extending repayment
Homeownership increased from 43.6% in
1940 to 65.5% in 2000.
• Cars became more affordable, greater
availability/access…shift from war to peace
• 58 million cars sold in the 50s
• -curb-side service
people move to the suburbs
› Federal Highway Act of 1956
Then services move to the suburbs
› Non-basic jobs: dry-cleaning; fast food
› Then industrial jobs
› Then service jobs: Sears; Motorola;
Public transport-where? Why?
How accessible? Why?
Affordable housing-where? Why?
“We’re not moving to mass transit”
› Governed by 272 municipalities and 6 counties
› Fear of City folk?
› NIMBYism (Not in My Backyard!)
Local govt control/ voters
Local low income housing
Home Alone House for sale in Winnetka
"I don't want us to become another suburb made up of
McMansions who are only here for the time it takes to put their kids
through school and then leave," Tucker said.
Rick McQuet, a Winnetka resident, said at the meeting that the
affordable housing plan is intended to help young families and
recent college graduates. "That young family was me about 15
years ago, a new degree in hand and aspirations of becoming a
member of a truly great community," he said.
Northfield resident June O'Donoghue received applause after she
said she opposes the proposal because it interferes with the housing
market. "Housing is affordable to the people who can afford it. That
is a simple thing," O'Donoghue said. "I think you need a referendum
for people to vote to see if they want to go through all this social
› Government stimulus package
FHA loans and Federal Highway Act
Solves affordable housing for some
› Landscape preferences, New
Social/Demographic trends also
Great Migration of African Americans (WWI)
› Race Riot of 1919
› Race Riot of 1951 (Cicero)
› Redlining and Blockbusting
› Martin Luther King and Open Housing March
› Today and Flight
Great Migration brings changes
› Before 1916, 2% of Chicago’s population
› After 1970, 33%
› 2000, 36.77%
› 2010, 36.8%
Push and Pull Factors
› Racism in the South
› Jobs in the North
› Transportation networks
› the Chicago Defender
Jim Crow Laws
Plessy v. Ferguson 1896
The boll weevil infestation of Southern cotton fields in the late
World War I and the Immigration Act of 1924 effectively put a
halt to the flow of European immigrants to the emerging
industrial centers of the Northeast and Midwest, causing
shortages of workers in the factories
The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 displaced hundreds of
thousands of African-American farmers and farm workers
Black owned newspaper
The newspaper was read extensively in the South.
Massive campaign in WWI
wave: Over 1.5 mil southern blacks migrating to
the North between 1915-1925.
› At least 110,000 came to Chicago alone between 1916-
1918, nearly tripling the city's black population.
wave: During WWII until 1970, north but also
West (where munitions and other jobs were)
South side: Chain migration and then racism.
Nearby were areas dominated by ethnic Irish, who were
especially territorial in defending against incursions into
their areas by any other groups.
In 1910 more than 75 percent of blacks lived in
predominantly black sections of the city.
As the population grew, African Americans became more
confined to a delineated area, instead of spreading
throughout the city. (NOT ALLOWED TO MOVE OUT)
Started on Lake Michigan
Nowhere to go
Racism, tension, lack of
police enforcement (who
were mostly ethnic Irish)
Racial Spaces in Chicago
Sunday, July 27, 1919, dawned hot in Chicago. As the
day wore on, city dwellers crowded onto the beaches
lining Lake Michigan seeking relief from the heat. Late
that afternoon, 17-year-old Eugene Williams dove off a
raft that had wandered toward the 29th Street beach.
The African American teenager was
unaware of a confrontation earlier that
day when black Chicagoans had walked
onto a space conventionally limited to
whites. Spotting him in the water, a
group of bathers began throwing stones
at Williams, who struggled,
disappeared, and drowned. As news of
his death spread, further violence
erupted on the beach and extended out
from it. Four days of rioting followed,
engulfing large sections of the city.
When the violence subsided, 38
persons were dead, 537 were injured,
and over 1,000 were left homeless.
Rare before 1919, huge after
Supreme Court: Public residential
segregation illegal, but...
IF you have a private group in an area,
they can agree on rules: landscaping,
sidewalks, fences, and segregation
They've got covenants
When I move
Into a neighborhood
Even every foreigner
That can move, moves.
Between July 10 and 12, 1951, approximately two
to five thousand white Cicero residents attacked
an apartment building housing a single black
family. Ultimately, 450 National Guardsmen and
200 Cicero and Cook County police officers were
called in to control the fires, looting, and
The Cicero riots became news across the United
States and the world.
48.27% White American
1.12% African American
0.89% Native American
44.71% from other races, and 4.01% from two or more races.
77.44% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any
race, with 68.4% of Mexican descent
Open Housing March, 1966
Decides against going to Cicero (too
Goes to Marquette Park “Chicago
The last way to keep “them” out
Mike Royko's 1971 biography
of Mayor Richard J. Daley,
Boss, claims that the Dan
Ryan Expressway route was
shifted to reinforce the border
between Daley's native
Bridgeport and the Black Belt
to the east.
› Northeastern Illinois Planning
› Chicago Metropolis 2020
› Chicago Matters series (WTTW,
Channel 11, 2003)