Reporter: Steve Inskeep
Aired On: NPR, January 3, 2013
Summary: How can tight-knit communities fare better in a disaster?
Why We’re Highlighting This Story: In this SoJo piece, NPR’s Steve Inskeep looks at a 1995 heat wave in Chicago that killed more than 700 people. Two adjacent, “nearly identical neighborhoods” had very different rates of survival, Englewood’s 33 per 100,000 people, Auburn Gresham 3 per 100,000 people. So what did the latter do right?
The answer, claims sociologist Eric Klinenberg, had to do less with infrastructure and more with social structure:
Auburn Gresham is a neighborhood that has poverty, yes; and it’s segregated, yes. But it has small commercial establishments that draw older people who are vulnerable to heat waves out of their homes and into public life. It has a viable social infrastructure. [Read more...]