The Industrial Metropolis counties can be difficult to manage because there are so many needs to be met – for upper-income households and for those on the lower end of the scale. And one of the great challenges for many of these communities is making sure the middle class has a place in them. In many of the Industrial Metros services seem most focused on the wealthy (high end shopping) and the poor (city welfare services) but elements crucial to middle class families, like good public schools, can be a real puzzle. A few examples: St. Louis, MO Philadelphia, PA
In a country where diversity is a hallmark, the Industrial Metropolis counties are where that concept is most concretely on display. The Industrial Metros are rich and they are poor. They are full of highly educated people and have high levels of illiteracy. They have penthouse apartments and hovels. They are places where a mosque might be across the street from a Presbyterian church and the people walking by might be black, white, Asian, Latino or a mix of several ethnicities. And all of that exists in the most densely populated counties in Patchwork Nation.
The Industrial Metropolis counties are considered a well-known commodity to many people. They hold the nation’s largest cities – New York, Chicago, Philadelphia – and loom large in popular culture. But the Industrial Metros are hard to see and understand up close. They themselves are often patchworks of different kinds of places. Stand on one corner and you may see tenements, bodegas and wig shops. Stand on another and you may see businessmen and women hustling in and out of skyscrapers with briefcases in tow. It’s hard to describe a typical scene because it depends on whether you are uptown or downtown, or on the east side or west side. And that is a key point about the Metros with all the diversity that are always options a short walk to drive away – eating options, shopping options, housing options.