Since the late 20th Century, the East Coast of the United States has been becoming more and more urbanized, as cities push their boundaries ever outward. Eventually, a tipping point was reached and the East Coast became one massive urban sprawl, an unbroken cityscape stretching from Illinois to Massachusetts, and all the way down to Alabama.
This dense urban area is referred to as the Energy Corridor of Illinois through Alabama or ECILAL (usually pronounced Easel); from the Gulf Oil rigs, energy switching stations, wind farms, and power plants that supply many of the jobs in on the east coast and the majority of the power in the country.
Scattered throughout the ECILAL are a number of arcologies; independent cities enclosed in geodesic domes or other designs that separate them from the rest of the sprawl. Most of these arcologies are corporate properties, with the largest exception being the New York and DC Arcologies. The NY-Arco came into being when NYC walled itself off to prevent the city being flooded by rising tides. The project began as a state-funded initiative, but budget requirements rapidly exceeded the available funds in the state legislature. Private interests stepped in and bailed out the project in return for a greater degree of anonymity from the state and federal government within the Arcology. Today, the NY-Arco acts as more of a free-state and a political and corporate neutral zone for commerce. Of course, there were no such funding issues with the DC-Arco.
Outside of the arcologies you have more traditional cities, with police and state services. Beyond these areas, in the industrial sections, the cities become feral. In these zones, only corporate or state assets are protected . These blue collar districts, if you can call them that, are run by gangs, crime families, or worse. They exist in a constant state of war between factions. This is where the majority of the world is forced to live, surviving in the margins and trying to earn their way into the more protected city zones.
Suburbs have been virtually eradicated, though corporate reserves maintain a semblance of this old life. Walled off from the urban blight, they are protected by corporate security, Even the air they breathe is filtered, masking the grey filth that mars the landscape around them. While everything appears well in these modern burbs, do not confuse aesthetics for true stability. Loss of employment at the host corporation results in immediate eviction and banishment into less stable neighborhoods.