The inner city is the central area of a major city or metropolis. In the
United States, Canada, United Kingdomand Ireland, the term is often applied to the poorer parts of the city centre and is sometimes used as a euphemismwith the connotation of being an area, perhaps a ghettoor slum, where residents are less educated and more impoverished and where there is more crime. Sociologists in these countries sometimes turn this euphemism into a formal designation, applying the term "inner city" to such residential areas rather than to geographically more central commercial districts.
Such connotations are less common in other countries, where deprived areas may be located in outlying parts of cities. For instance, in
Paris, Vienna, Melbourne, Sydneyor Amsterdam, the inner city is the most prosperous part of the metropolis, where housing is the most expensive, and where elites and high-income individuals dwell. Poverty and crime are more associated with the distant suburbs. The French word for " suburb" (" banlieue") often has a negative connotation, especially when used in the plural.
The peculiar American sociological usage is rooted in the middle 20th century. When automobiles became affordable in the United States, many middle and high-income residents, who were mostly white, moved to suburbs to have larger homes, less crime and less diversity. The loss of taxes caused many inner city communities to fall into
urban decay. Late in the century, many such areas underwent gentrification, especially in the Northeast and West coast, depriving them of the "inner city" label despite their unchanged location.
Regardless of their wealth, inner city areas tend to have higher population densities then outer suburbs, with more of the population living inside multi floored townhouses and apartments.
Old and new
A rival contemporary North American movement is that of
New Urbanism, which calls for a return to traditional city planning methods in where mixed-use zoning allows people to walk from one type of land-use to another, as was done before the invention of mass transit and zoning. The movement seeks to have housing, shopping, office space, and leisure facilities located within walking distance of each other, thus reducing the demand for roadways and also improving the efficiency and effectiveness of mass transit.
The thriving of "old urbanism" in inner cities, in which prosperous individuals and families move into formerly poor neighborhoods, is known as
Harrison, P. (1985) "Inside the Inner City: Life Under the Cutting Edge". Penguin: Harmondsworth. This book takes
Hackney, Londonas a case study of inner city urban deprivation.
Bid rent theory
Central business district
Concentric ring model
* [http://www.innercitypress.org Inner City Press] - uses the [http://www.innercitypress.org/bxreport.html South Bronx] as its example and laboratory of New Urbanism.
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inner city — ˌinner ˈcity noun inner cities PLURALFORM [countable] the part near the centre of a city where the buildings are often in a bad condition and the people are poor: • The inner cities are covered with dilapidated and dangerous housing. • poor,… … Financial and business terms
inner city — inner cities also inner city N COUNT You use inner city to refer to the areas in or near the centre of a large city where people live and where there are often social and economic problems. ...helping kids deal with the fear of living in the… … English dictionary
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inner city — plural inner cities n the part near the middle of a city, especially where the buildings are in a bad condition and the people are poor ▪ the problems of our inner cities >inner city adj ▪ inner city schools … Dictionary of contemporary English
inner city — noun count * an area near the center of a large city where a lot of poverty and other social problems exist: Suburban life styles are very different from those in the inner city. ╾ ,inner city adjective: inner city schools/areas/children … Usage of the words and phrases in modern English
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inner city — ► NOUN ▪ an area in or near the centre of a city, especially when associated with social and economic problems … English terms dictionary
inner city — ☆ inner city n. the sections of a large city in or near its center, esp. when crowded or blighted … English World dictionary
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