The contrast of 2 cities of one million inhabitants: Oakland and Vienna

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Subject: The contrast of 2 cities of one million inhabitants: Oakland and Vienna.

So the 3 aspects that the subject is asking to present are:

-How did the cities grow over the last 25 years?

-Why have they grown? And,

-The problems these growths have created.

I added at my own initiative another aspect which is:

-Solutions for a better future.


So, how did Oakland and Vienna grow during the past 25 year is our first question. I’ll be comparing the difference in growth of these 2 cities.

The Second World War left great impacts on Vienna. More than 20% of the housing stock was partly or completely destroyed, almost 89’000 flats became inhabitant.

In the urban area, more than 3’000 bombs destroyed almost all the city’s infrastructure. The population of Vienna fell approximately by 15% and was of 1’322’000. This was caused by the emigration of more than 1000’000 Jews to the west in order to escape from the Nazi’s.

At the beginning the Viennese just wanted to solve the basic problems and get the city back to some degree of working order. Vienna managed very well the tasks of providing food, sheltering, rebuilding the city and repairing transportation because it was a very well organized city.

I think that everybody knows that Vienna is famous for it‘s ancient and fascinating architecture. Well I can tell you that even after the destruction of some historic areas, the Viennese still managed to keep some monuments. I would conclude that this is the result of hard work and good organization.

During the 1980’s and the 1990’s the city’s population increased with the ending of communist regimes. People immigrated to Vienna and the population reached more than 1’600’000.

So this is how Vienna grew:

By renovating and building new things smartly and well organized. And now Vienna is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe with its museums, theaters, famous monuments, music, the river Danube, the artificial island etc…

It joined the European Union in 1995 and it is now the 3rd UN city and an important international meeting place and conference center. It has its own UNO-city across the Danube with all the international offices and agencies.

World War 2 transformed Oakland. As we know, the US was in war with Japan and the two countries are separated by the Pacific.   The city boomed because it was the largest shipbuilding center, the largest supply and distribution point on the West Coast’s. They operated 24 hours a day and a lot of workers came from all across the country. To give you an idea, the flood of workers was so huge that to build a “liberty ship” it took them only three weeks.

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The War’s end brought Oakland’s boom to a halt. Oakland lost nearly 10’000 jobs and 23’000 residents between 1950 and 1970. There were race riots based on unemployment and racial tension that the feds tried to stop by rolling in $23 million into job programs. It wasn’t really successful and over all 140 non-military federal programs were spending $100 million a year by 1967, close to twice the city’s own budget. The city became a laboratory for government poverty fighting but the war on poverty didn’t end Oakland’s poverty.

While Washington poured anti-poverty money into Oakland, the Black ...

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