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Old 10-06-2014, 07:27 AM
 
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The majority of the Baby Boomers will be dead. The Gen Xers will be old. Gen Z will be at the point where we are. There will be less kids and less chaos.
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Old 10-06-2014, 07:47 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
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I think you'll still see some movement to the suburbs, but not as much in prior generations. Basically for the following reasons:

Changes in Fertility: American fertility rates have been falling through the floor recently, and this is particularly true for people with advanced degrees. More people than ever aren't having kids at all, and if you don't have kids, there's no reason to leave the city. As noted, many people only have 1-2 kids, where they used to have 2-3 or more, which makes considering private school much cheaper. And also important is the long delay many college-educated people have in having kids today. If you don't have children until your mid 30s you're going to be nearly 40 by the time your first child is kindergarten age. At that point people are much more set in their ways - less likely to give up social connections they've been forming for the last 15 years or so.

Changes in Cities: In a lot of ways, cities have improved in family friendliness over the last decade. Urban amenities have improved. Crime has gone way, way down in many of them. Even schools have improved in many cities. Certainly the number of alternate options (magnets, charters, etc) is proliferating in most urban school systems). And there are plenty of examples of individual feeder zones in some cities (Seattle, Portland, even Chicago) which are showing big improvements in school performance as poor kids are gentrified out and the schools become increasingly full of the kids of gentrifiers.

In my mind the biggest reason cities will continue to lag is going to be cost and size concerns, which can be measured together as cost per square foot. A child is basically a roommate who doesn't pay rent. Once your kids are past baby stage, a parent is going to have to either buy more house than their childless peers in the same neighborhood (and hence pay more for housing), or move to a less desirable area. As few people would actually choose to move from a gentrified area to a transitional one once they had kids, this mostly means moving to less walkable areas.

This is exactly the calculation we made. We love our neighborhood (although it is getting a little ridiculously gentrified in places now), but we literally could not afford to upgrade from our 2br/1ba to something larger, and with two kids it really wasn't feasible to stay any longer. We're staying in the city - we're both city people, not suburb people. But the part of the city we're moving to is an old streetcar suburb, and not incredibly walkable in terms of amenities. We'd need to walk for around 15 minutes to get to the closest two business districts. The house has a bus stop literally right outside the front door, however, and is in a flat part of the city so I could bike to plenty of amenities within 5-15 minutes. Not ideally placed, but the house itself is a 6br/2.5ba, not to mention including things like built in woodwork, pocket doors, etc. This type of house doesn't even exist in our current neighborhood really, but would likely go for twice what we bought it for if it did.
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Old 10-06-2014, 07:48 AM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
46,053 posts, read 29,550,732 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lurtsman View Post
Sorry to make an example out fo your post, but this is the very essence of what is wrong with "urban planning". A well researched piece came out some time ago that thoroughly disproved the myth of young people moving into the urban areas as a demographic trend. After intense research they found that across the broad section of urban areas, rather than focusing on specific cities, the rate of increase in young population was slower than the rate of increase in that portion of the population. Basically, while more young people live in urban areas now than 20 years ago, the increase in sheer number has not kept up with the increase in population. As a percentage, more of the young generation is living with their parents rather than in the urban areas. Simply put, the urban areas are too expensive to maintain a reasonable standard of living when the college graduates are told

"Oh, that is a very nice degree. If you have that in your right hand, and toilet paper in your left hand, you can wipe twice."

Yes, there are a few cities that were able to attract young people in an urban core, but the story has been based on either those few cities or the growth in absolute numbers which failed to reflect the increase in overall population.

Since many pseudo urban planners are often misinformed about the current state of the country and cities and misinformed about the previous state, how on earth do we expect them to plan for the future state?
If you have a link to that research I would definitely like to read it.

I am sure you are right about kids staying with their parents till later in life. Plus there are only a handful of cities that have had the success with attracting youth that places like Portland has experienced.

Many American cities still struggle to attract any kind of resident to their cities due to poor planning and bad choices with urban renewal.
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Old 10-06-2014, 08:12 AM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
28,269 posts, read 26,269,309 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
This is exactly the calculation we made. We love our neighborhood (although it is getting a little ridiculously gentrified in places now), but we literally could not afford to upgrade from our 2br/1ba to something larger, and with two kids it really wasn't feasible to stay any longer. We're staying in the city - we're both city people, not suburb people. But the part of the city we're moving to is an old streetcar suburb, and not incredibly walkable in terms of amenities. We'd need to walk for around 15 minutes to get to the closest two business districts. The house has a bus stop literally right outside the front door, however, and is in a flat part of the city so I could bike to plenty of amenities within 5-15 minutes. Not ideally placed, but the house itself is a 6br/2.5ba, not to mention including things like built in woodwork, pocket doors, etc. This type of house doesn't even exist in our current neighborhood really, but would likely go for twice what we bought it for if it did.
And you live in Pittsburgh...not exactly the most unaffordable city in America by most standards. It makes you wonder what's going to happen to the millennials who vow to never leave Brooklyn, Central DC, Boston, Los Angeles, etc.
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Old 10-06-2014, 08:29 AM
Status: "Summer!" (set 25 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,016 posts, read 102,674,652 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinkmani View Post
The majority of the Baby Boomers will be dead. The Gen Xers will be old. Gen Z will be at the point where we are. There will be less kids and less chaos.
Honey, the youngest Boomers are just turning 50 this year. The average life expectancy at 50 is 79 1/2 for a male, and 83 for a female. The oldest Boomers are 68. Their average life expectancy is 83 1/2 for men and almost 86 for women. (Life expectancy is calculated on # of years left by age.) You're not going to get rid of us any too soon, and as these 50 somethings age, their life expectancy will go up.
Actuarial Life Table
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Old 10-06-2014, 08:33 AM
Status: "Summer!" (set 25 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,016 posts, read 102,674,652 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
I think you'll still see some movement to the suburbs, but not as much in prior generations. Basically for the following reasons:

Changes in Fertility: American fertility rates have been falling through the floor recently, and this is particularly true for people with advanced degrees. More people than ever aren't having kids at all, and if you don't have kids, there's no reason to leave the city. As noted, many people only have 1-2 kids, where they used to have 2-3 or more, which makes considering private school much cheaper. And also important is the long delay many college-educated people have in having kids today. If you don't have children until your mid 30s you're going to be nearly 40 by the time your first child is kindergarten age. At that point people are much more set in their ways - less likely to give up social connections they've been forming for the last 15 years or so.

Changes in Cities: In a lot of ways, cities have improved in family friendliness over the last decade. Urban amenities have improved. Crime has gone way, way down in many of them. Even schools have improved in many cities. Certainly the number of alternate options (magnets, charters, etc) is proliferating in most urban school systems). And there are plenty of examples of individual feeder zones in some cities (Seattle, Portland, even Chicago) which are showing big improvements in school performance as poor kids are gentrified out and the schools become increasingly full of the kids of gentrifiers.

In my mind the biggest reason cities will continue to lag is going to be cost and size concerns, which can be measured together as cost per square foot. A child is basically a roommate who doesn't pay rent. Once your kids are past baby stage, a parent is going to have to either buy more house than their childless peers in the same neighborhood (and hence pay more for housing), or move to a less desirable area. As few people would actually choose to move from a gentrified area to a transitional one once they had kids, this mostly means moving to less walkable areas.

This is exactly the calculation we made. We love our neighborhood (although it is getting a little ridiculously gentrified in places now), but we literally could not afford to upgrade from our 2br/1ba to something larger, and with two kids it really wasn't feasible to stay any longer. We're staying in the city - we're both city people, not suburb people. But the part of the city we're moving to is an old streetcar suburb, and not incredibly walkable in terms of amenities. We'd need to walk for around 15 minutes to get to the closest two business districts. The house has a bus stop literally right outside the front door, however, and is in a flat part of the city so I could bike to plenty of amenities within 5-15 minutes. Not ideally placed, but the house itself is a 6br/2.5ba, not to mention including things like built in woodwork, pocket doors, etc. This type of house doesn't even exist in our current neighborhood really, but would likely go for twice what we bought it for if it did.
Most educators think of charter schools as the Devil's work (even as some send their own kids to charters, lol). Many charters have failed over the years, being run as they were by people who'd never run schools before who thought they could do a better job than school administrators. Their outcomes are mixed, but in most cases no better than neighborhood schools, especially when you adjust for the usual factors such as SES. But they make city people feel good about sending their kids to "public" schools.

Portland can't run its schools smoothly. It has a history of problems.
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Old 10-06-2014, 08:46 AM
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Location: Long Island / NYC
45,991 posts, read 42,018,377 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Their outcomes are mixed, but in most cases no better than neighborhood schools, especially when you adjust for the usual factors such as SES.
But then there arguments, that much of city school quality difference is erased when adjusted for the usual factors such as SES.
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Old 10-06-2014, 08:51 AM
Status: "Summer!" (set 25 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
But then there arguments, that much of city school quality difference is erased when adjusted for the usual factors such as SES.
True dat! I don't think there are any simple answers to the educational issues of cities.
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Old 10-06-2014, 09:05 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
12,443 posts, read 11,944,656 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
And you live in Pittsburgh...not exactly the most unaffordable city in America by most standards. It makes you wonder what's going to happen to the millennials who vow to never leave Brooklyn, Central DC, Boston, Los Angeles, etc.
To be fair, my wife being from here, had a much different idea of what was "too expensive" for a house than I did. I would have been comfortable going around $50,000 higher than she was, provided it was a house which didn't need any work. Once you have kids you can't really do things like remodel kitchens yourself any longer - you need to go with a professional who will get things done quickly and efficiently, even if it ends up costing you more money.

In my experience people who end up having kids in higher-cost cities tend to move to lower-cost cities once they have kids just as frequently as suburban areas though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Most educators think of charter schools as the Devil's work (even as some send their own kids to charters, lol). Many charters have failed over the years, being run as they were by people who'd never run schools before who thought they could do a better job than school administrators. Their outcomes are mixed, but in most cases no better than neighborhood schools, especially when you adjust for the usual factors such as SES. But they make city people feel good about sending their kids to "public" schools.
I would never enroll my children in charter schools. That said, the Pittsburgh area really only has one charter school which poaches off the middle-class kids. It's actually harder to get into than an Ivy League school, because so many people apply and there are so few slots available. Indeed, they recently attempted to apply to set up two additional schools (another K-8 and a high school) and were in part turned down because PPS understands that what they're mostly doing is taking kids out of the better neighborhood feeder schools, rather than actually serving the more disadvantaged population in the district.

I've checked out the test scores too. Nothing special. One of those cases where every demographic scores worse than nearby PPS schools, but given it has far less black students and far more white students, it comes out far better in aggregate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Portland can't run its schools smoothly. It has a history of problems.
I didn't comment on how well run it is. I just said there are plenty of public schools within Portland that middle-class parents don't worry about sending their kids to.
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Old 10-06-2014, 10:04 AM
 
4,023 posts, read 3,269,041 times
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Originally Posted by Hemlock140 View Post
A few years ago it made the news that Seattle had more dogs than children. The main problem with big cities is the quality of the schools. Those young parents who want the best for their kids end up moving when the oldest is 3-4 years old, looking for the best performing suburban schools. When the kids are younger they are fine with living in the quieter avenues of the city where shops and restaurants are withing a walkable distance but with
That shouldn't be the case in more affluent, booming cities like San Francisco, New York, Seattle, etc. that have some of the highest median incomes and property values in the country. These wealthier cities could certainly afford to pay for high quality schools, public and private.
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