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Old 06-07-2008, 09:31 PM
Location: Mission Viejo, CA
2,498 posts, read 10,299,165 times
Reputation: 1598


What it would take for me to leave suburbia:
As a parent, good public schools are a must. The public school are abysmal in the urban areas of California and almost anyone with enough money sends to private school that live in cities like LA or San Francisco. Until the schools get up to a quality level, then no, I'm not moving.
Also, the area has to be relatively crime free. My suburban city is ranked as the safest in the nation, so it is hard to think of moving to the central city, but if safety got better, I would.
Good enough public transportation to get around, otherwise I might as well stay in suburbia.
Quality programs for youth. For example, my daughter is in youth club soccer and all of the best teams are based in suburban cities, while the urban areas have almost no programs for kids.
Affordability: I could buy a $500k home in my city and have outstanding schools, or buy a $500k home in Los Angeles and the schools suck and most likely it is a bad area of town. That $500k home in LA needs to be equal in quality to the suburban home.
Shopping: I know a lot of you hate chains, but Costco, Target, big box grocery stores, Sport Authority, Best Buy, ect... are all attractive to us in the suburbs. The main cities could use more big box stores. I have three kids to feed and can get everything I need at Albertsons Grocery, while the little mom and pop store has nothing compared to Albertsons and is usually more expensive. I don't care about being "hip," I just want to get the chore done and get out of the store as soon as possible and big box stores usually have everything you need.
The inner city also should have running trails woven throughout it. I want to be able to go for a jog in the morning and not be trapped in a grid pattern with a light every block to stop running at.
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Old 06-07-2008, 09:46 PM
Location: Houston Texas
2,898 posts, read 2,884,614 times
Reputation: 877
Originally Posted by ScranBarre View Post
From what I hear from folks who still haunt the Upstate NY boards Rochester proper is starting to make a promising comeback while the inner suburbs remain "sketchy" (namely Irondequoit---spelling?) Rochester is actually a city that I've always wanted to visit. I've been to Binghamton, Ithaca, Geneva, Elmira, Syracuse, Batavia, and Buffalo, but somehow I've managed to miss Rochester. LOL!

Violent crime remains an issue in some cities (from what I gather on this forum Detroit, Baltimore, and St. Louis are probably some of the worst for this), but there are plenty of other cities, including my own, that are on the decline while having negligible violent crime due primarily to taxation reasons.
You are correct that Rochester has seen pretty good revitalization especially in the whole southern half of the city. The north side unfortunately has not gotten much better at all Alot of younger people are enjoying it in the city like many friends of mine back home because of the cool shops, arts and culture and general fun vibe of that south half of the city. Definately visit Rochester, I believe it has so much going for it and so many fun things to do1 You did spell Irondequoit right. Yhe thing with Irondequoit is that the southern part (near 104) borders on the most vioent part or Rochester (NE part) but it also has some awesome beach areas on Lake Ontario and Irondequoit bay. So basically try to stay in the Northern half there. I have had the chance to visit your neck of the woods (Scranton) and I liked it alot from what I remember. It has the Poconos nearby and a real cool looking downtown that just needs a little tlc for the rest of the city. Hopefully it will continue to revitalize as well as the Roc!
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Old 06-07-2008, 09:56 PM
Location: Southeast Missouri
5,812 posts, read 16,678,033 times
Reputation: 3335
A cheap city, though some cities are cheap. Take St. Louis for example. You can sometimes get a cheap, safe house in the city for less than in the suburbs.

But it seems like a lot of major cities have worse schools than the suburbs.
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Old 06-07-2008, 10:02 PM
Location: Metro DC
109 posts, read 429,463 times
Reputation: 54
Yea, seconding Scranbarre, Arlington and Alexandria, VA are anomalies. I would not really consider them suburbs in a normal sense since Arlington was at one point part of DC proper, and Alexandria was a city long before DC so it has its own city which happens to be 6-7 miles from downtown DC
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Old 06-07-2008, 10:05 PM
Location: Washington State
389 posts, read 949,473 times
Reputation: 250
Originally Posted by ScranBarre View Post
This thread is essentially for folks who have left cities in favor of the suburbs as well as those who have always lived in the suburbs and would be open to the idea of giving urban living a try. What would it take for you to move back into your host city? In this thread, please provide your suburb, host city, and your reasoning.

I'll start with my own format, but you should feel free to reply in any way you wish.
  • Host City: Scranton, PA (pop. 70,000)
  • Suburb: Pittston, PA---8 Miles South
  • What It Would Take To Get Me Into The City: I've lived the first 21.5 years of my life here in the dull suburbs, and I'm actually excited about being able to move into an upcoming downtown loft once my financial situation permits me to do so. I crave being able to walk to a movie theater, shopping mall, galleries, churches, restaurants, a library, etc., whereas where I currently live in the boom 'burbs there aren't even any shoulders, let alone sidewalks. One MAJOR black eye factoring into my decision though is the fact that Scranton has a 3.4% city wage tax, amongst the highest in the nation, while my own suburb doesn't even levy a residential property tax (hence why the city continues to decline while the suburbs swell). If I'm earning $50,000 per year, do I really want $1,700 of that to go to the city's coffers in addition to property taxes?
Nothing. Give me land and a plow to till it, and I'll be happy. I love my personal space and privacy. I don't want to put money in someone else's pocket, and I want to be as self sufficient as I possibly can.
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Old 06-07-2008, 10:47 PM
Location: San Antonio North
4,147 posts, read 7,243,849 times
Reputation: 1009
IDK I like the suburban life style. Low crime, great schools, all the shopping, not living on top of each other.

Id have to say I wouldn't

Urban living is not for all!
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Old 06-08-2008, 01:23 AM
2,502 posts, read 8,056,760 times
Reputation: 885
I need to have a yard. Period. Some city neighborhoods offer big(ish) yards, and I would consider those areas.

However, I'm honestly not going to rally for a mass rush of population into cities. Rapid population change causes more harm than good (just ask Southern Florida). Moderate, healthy population changes are much more beneficial.
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Old 06-08-2008, 06:33 AM
Location: Kentucky
6,749 posts, read 19,970,287 times
Reputation: 2129
Nothing. As a matter of fact, I will be moving to the country eventually. I like green, not concrete
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Old 06-08-2008, 08:44 AM
Location: Cold Frozen North
1,928 posts, read 4,638,213 times
Reputation: 1274
I lived the first 15 years of my life in Chicago. After that my parents moved out to a farm where we lived for 7 years. The rest of my life was spent in the suburbs.

I can honestly say that the years I spent on the farm were the happiest of my life. The suburbs are OK, but are beginning to suffer the same problems as cities with high taxes and traffic congestion.

I would never live in the city again no matter how much they improved it. My biggest problem is lack of space and too many people packed in like cattle. I know, I know, that's city living. But it is definitely not for me. I will be moving out to a rural area in a couple of years where you can travel for miles and not see anyone else - my kind of place.
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Old 06-08-2008, 09:27 AM
Location: Youngstown, Oh.
4,897 posts, read 7,671,799 times
Reputation: 4513
I understand that everyone doesn't want to live in the city. My aunt lives out in the country, and I love visiting on holidays. (but I couldn't live there because you need a car to get anywhere)

Having said that, the reason most cities have declined (increased crime, poor schools) over the last 50-60 years is because so many people (mostly the middle class) felt the need to leave the city for a big lawn, and attached garage in the suburbs.

Because cities lost a large part of their tax base, they have to raise their income tax rates, and still don't have enough money to maintain their infrastructure. So, the cities have fewer resources to deal with bigger problems.

This also means that a higher percentage of the population lives in poverty, only because they don't have the financial ability to follow the middle class into the suburbs. Concentrated poverty always leads to increased crime.

Schools decline because they have to deal with a higher percentage of children who come from impoverished homes. They have to deal with more children with special needs. Here in Youngstown, the schools have to feed the children breakfast in addition to lunch, because the children probably didn't get breakfast at home. In states like Ohio, where schools are funded through property taxes, the schools decline because they get less money due to stagnant or declining property values. And they have a hard time passing new operating levies because the residents don't want/can't afford more taxes.
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