Travel around Pennsylvania, and you’ll find many small to mid-sized cities that used to be thriving industrial centers.
Travel around Pennsylvania, and you’ll find many small to mid-sized cities that used to be thriving industrial centers like Chester in southeastern Pennsylvania.
This small city, situated along the Delaware River between Philadelphia and Wilmington was once a major shipbuilding center and home to other big industries. Today, Chester has lost nearly half of its population; and grapples with poverty, failing schools, and crime.
On Episode 03 of Grapple, you’ll hear stories from people who grew up in Chester about how their city has changed over time; a landlord who’s using bright colors to stabilize a neighborhood once overrun with drug trafficking; the ways in which basketball brings the city together; and the local roots of a rock and roll legend.
On Episode 04, we’ll then take a step back and look at some broader trends playing out in Chester. We’ll talk with Yale University sociologist Elijah Anderson about the impact of deindustrialization and racism on distressed cities; and Amy Liu of the Brookings Institution about what Chester and other similar cities can do to boost their economic health and move forward.