Building a Resilient Social Safety Net

By Sarah Reckhow and Margaret Weir, in Urban and Regional Policy and Its Effects, volume 4 (Brookings Institution Press, February 2012)

In their chapter in this volume, Reckhow and Weir track the shift of poverty to the suburbs and document the lack of social services and philanthropic networks in those areas to support struggling families.

A Q&A with Weir, “The Safety Net is Thin in the Suburbs Despite Growing Poverty,” expands on the ideas in the chapter. This blog post, “A New Image for the Suburbs,” adds to the conversation.

Volume 4 in the series introduces and examines the concept of regional resilience. The authors illuminate how the walls that now segment metro regions into political jurisdictions must be bridged in order for regions to cultivate resilience. In addition to a thorough overview of both regionalism and resilience, chapters examine how a regional perspective plays out in the foreclosure crisis, immigration policies, transit-oriented development, and in extending the social safety net to the suburbs, where poverty is increasing but social services are not.