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Old 11-14-2014, 12:45 PM
 
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Will inner ring suburbs of the future urbanize themselves, becoming cities in their own sense? the population is gravitating towards urban centers, with walkability. will suburbs adapt to this or stay the same? and what will be the more successful place in the future, a city like allentown PA (it is a true city, but somewhat depressed) or the inner ring suburbs of Philly (much more wealth and jobs here). does allentown end up more successful than these suburbs due to being more urban? or do these suburbs become functioning cities themselves?
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Old 11-14-2014, 01:10 PM
 
Location: New York NY
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This has been happening for a long time now and these sorts of burbs are termed Edge Cities:

Edge City - An Overview of Edge Cities


I don't know anything about Allentown, Pa., and whether it would qualify, but some notable examples would be White Plains, NY (New York City), Alexandria VA. (Washington DC), Naperville Il (Chicago), and Plano Texas (Dallas).
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Old 11-14-2014, 02:56 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
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The urbanization of suburbs is occurring in dribs and drabs, particularly in the DC and Seattle areas. That said, there are two different things which limit it.

1. Desirable areas have local residents who act as NIMBYs (not in my backyard). They don't want townhouses or apartments, because it might bring in the poors, or result in congestion. They don't want office highrises because it could clog the streets with traffic. They don't even want smaller-lot single-family housing because it will "change the established character of the community." There's a sort of decline that even wealthy areas go into where they get increasingly expensive, so no one other than the established, increasingly elderly residents can afford to live there, but they still don't want to change building practices so as to be more attractive to young families. It will be decades, if ever, before these areas would go into a substantial enough decline to want to try something different.

2. Actually economically depressed suburbs won't be able to attract market-rate development. In a few cases they might luck out and "gentrify," but generally they'll be at a disadvantage here compared to actual city neighborhoods.

Note that nationwide, most "urbanizing" is actually happening in cities. Los Angeles isn't anywhere near as low-slung in the core as it was even 20 years ago, and other suburban-focused sunbelt cities are busy redeveloping old warehouse districts (and in some cases, even single-family housing neighborhoods) into mixed-use apartment districts. In certain cities this can spread out to outlying areas as part of "TOD" development around train stations (or BRT), which provides little islands of urbanism in the suburbs.

Overall though, this sort of densification is limited to the sun belt, and not only because northeastern and midwestern metros are already denser. Densification of suburbs is much easier, in terms of zoning, in areas where there are broad city limits, "suburban cities" with populations in the hundreds of thousands, and unincorporated county land. The norm in most older, established metros instead is to have towns surrounding the core city with 10,000-40,000 residents. These sort of municipalities tend to get dominated by anti-development forces much more easily, for whatever reason - possibly because nearly everyone within a small suburb thinks of a development within town lines, but a few miles away, as local business (as it will affect local taxes considerably). Given most metros in the Northeast and Midwest still have tons of ghetto in the city core to eat through, it will be a long time before they feel pressure to densify anyway.

As to outlying cities, some are already hip. Places like Hoboken and Cambridge are functionally already part of NYC and Boston already. More outlying cities like Lowell, MA, New Haven, CT, and Lancaster, PA all gentrification in at least some neighborhoods as well. Not every small city is gentrifying, of course, but there's no reason to presume somewhere like Allentown might not see some itself in the future - it just isn't liable to be the next hot area, given the weak job market and comparably isolated location.
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Old 11-14-2014, 04:21 PM
 
Location: Philaburbia
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Where have you been for the past 50 ... no, wait, 90 ... years?
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Old 11-14-2014, 07:56 PM
 
Location: Prince George's County, Maryland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by citylove101 View Post
This has been happening for a long time now and these sorts of burbs are termed Edge Cities:

Edge City - An Overview of Edge Cities


I don't know anything about Allentown, Pa., and whether it would qualify, but some notable examples would be White Plains, NY (New York City), Alexandria VA. (Washington DC), Naperville Il (Chicago), and Plano Texas (Dallas).
Alexandria is a little more unique in that it preceded the creation of DC itself.
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Old 11-14-2014, 08:20 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh
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The tide is changing. The suburbs are beginning to rebound and surpass the inner cities in growth. The generation that flocked to the inner cities is maturing and moving out for financial and family (to start their own) reasons. The new increase of crime and riots in cities will no doubt put a halt to much of the gentrification.

Allentown. It is a sanctuary city for illegals. That is where the growth is coming from. Don't expect an economic turn around any time soon.
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Old 11-14-2014, 11:55 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
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Sure, there are a number of suburbs that have seen forms of urbanization.
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Old 11-15-2014, 05:28 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohiogirl81 View Post
Where have you been for the past 50 ... no, wait, 90 ... years?
At least. I believe Brooklyn NY was the first suburb, and became urbanized. It won't happen to the country club suburbs.
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Old 11-15-2014, 09:53 AM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pvande55 View Post
At least. I believe Brooklyn NY was the first suburb, and became urbanized. It won't happen to the country club suburbs.
It is funny to think of Brooklyn as a suburb, I always saw it more as a second city, but then again up until the Brooklyn Bridge was built, it was mostly just farm land.
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Old 11-15-2014, 11:16 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pvande55 View Post
At least. I believe Brooklyn NY was the first suburb, and became urbanized. It won't happen to the country club suburbs.
Look at Radnor, PA.
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