Tuesday, April 30, 2013

In spite of trendy "new urbanism," people still want single-family homes

by Joel Kotkin
The “silver lining” in our five-years-and-running Great Recession, we’re told, is that Americans have finally taken heed of their betters and are finally rejecting the empty allure of suburban space and returning to the urban core. “We’ve reached the limits of suburban development,” HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan declared in 2010. “People are beginning to vote with their feet and come back to the central cities.” Ed Glaeser’s Triumph of the City and Alan Ehrenhalt’s The Great Inversion—widely praised and accepted by the highest echelons of academia, press, business, and government—have advanced much the same claim, and just last week a report on jobs during the downturn garnered headlines like “City Centers in U.S. Gain Share of Jobs as Suburbs Lose.”
There’s just one problem with this narrative: none of it is true. A funny thing happened on the way to the long-trumpeted triumph of the city: the suburbs not only survived but have begun to regain their allure as Americans have continued aspiring to single-family homes...
America’s 51 major metropolitan areas (those with populations of at least one million) has accelerated—rising from 85 percent in the ’90s to 91 percent in the ’00s. There’s more than a tinge of elitism animating the urban theorists who think that urban destiny rides mostly with the remaining nine percent matters. Overall, over 70 percent of residents in the major metropolitan areas now live in suburbs...
The rest of the story here.


At 9:43 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Jena sends this message:

"Love your blog.Thanks for being an MTA detective.Madeleine Savit is the brain behind Folks for Polk.She seemed so happy with her own camera man last night at the MTA meeting.Did you go btw?"

No, I stayed home to watch the Warriors' playoff game. These MTA "community" meetings are Kabuki theater of little real significance. Good that the MTA is apparently backing off on the idea of taking away all that parking on Polk Street for its "improvements," aka "bike lanes," which would only benefit the most unpopular special interest group in the city, the bike Nazis.

Maybe Savit will release her cameraman's work to the public. Do you think she was the moron who sent me this message?


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