Selling Cities

Attracting Homebuyers Through Schools and Housing Programs

By David P. Varady & Jeffrey A. Raffel

Subjects: Urban And Regional Planning
Series: SUNY series in Urban Public Policy
Paperback : 9780791425589, 367 pages, August 1995
Hardcover : 9780791425572, 367 pages, August 1995

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Table of contents

List of Figures
List of Tables

Part 1. The Problem of Cities

1. The Importance of Attracting Middle-Class Homeowners to Cities

2. Central City Revitalization: Three Different Perspectives

3. Two Cities and Their Recent Homebuyers

Part 2. The Mobility Process

4. City-Suburban Choices

5. Moving Plans

6. Segmentation of the Homebuyer Market

Part 3. Developing Programs to Attract Middle-Income Families

7. Local Housing Plans

8. Middle-Income Housing Programs

9. Overcoming Resistance to Middle-Income Housing Programs in Low-Income Communities

10. Metropolitan School Desegregation

11. Magnet Schools

Part 4. Conclusions

12. Future City Revitalization Efforts

Appendix 1. Definitions of Independent Variables
Appendix 2. Definitions of Community Variables Included in Factor Analysis


Shows that cities can be revitalized by attracting and retaining the middle class through schools and housing programs.


Selling Cities takes the optimistic position that cities can be revitalized by attracting and retaining the middle class. The authors, experienced policymakers as well as academics, review previous work on city revitalization; report original research on homebuyers in the Cincinnati and Wilmington, Delaware metropolitan areas; and present case studies of middle-income schooling and housing policies in these and other metropolitan areas around the U. S. and Canada.

Selling Cities spans several disciplines--economics, sociology, demography, law, and planning--and is one of the first books to examine both housing and schooling programs. It includes numerous recommendations for city revitalization; an analysis of middle-income housing programs such as tax abatements and below-market-rate mortgages; analyses of metropolitan school desegregation in the Wilmington area and magnet schools in Cincinnati; and proposals of policies to enhance cities' attraction and retention of the middle class.

David P. Varady is Professor in the School of Planning at the University of Cincinnati and is the author of Neighborhood Upgrading: A Realistic Assessment, also published by SUNY Press. Jeffrey A. Raffel is Professor and Director of the Masters in Public Administration Program at the University of Delaware and is the author or coauthor of several books, including The Politics of School Desegregation: The Metropolitan Remedy in Delaware.


"This book offers empirical insights to a critical urban policy issue: Can central cities attract middle-class homeowners? The analysis is thorough, the data interpretation is well balanced and non ideological, and the policy recommendations user-friendly. The argument that cities can do something about decline is an important contribution to the urban policy literature. " -- Kenneth Wong, University of Chicago

"A really thoughtful contribution to the policy debate. The topic is extremely significant, both as a matter for policy debate and as a subject for academic inquiry. "-- Robert K. Whelan, University of New Orleans