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Old 03-27-2015, 12:39 PM
 
Location: St. Louis
2,481 posts, read 2,230,341 times
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During the housing bubble, Americans moved in droves to the exurbs, to newly paved subdivisions on what was once rural land. Far-out suburbs had some of the fastest population growth in the country in the early 2000s, fueled by cheap housing and easy mortgages. And these places helped redefine how we think about metropolitan areas like Washington, pushing their edges farther and farther from the traditional downtown.

In the wake of the housing crash, these same places took the biggest hit. Population growth in the exurbs stalled. They produced a new American phenomenon: the ghost subdivision of developments abandoned during the housing collapse before anyone got around to finishing the roads or sidewalks.

These scenes and demographic trends left the impression that maybe Americans had changed their minds about exurban living. New Census data, though, suggests that eight years after the housing crash, Americans are starting to move back there again.

The fledgling trend, captured in data through 2014, raises questions about whether American preferences for where and how to live truly changed much during the housing bust, or if we simply put our exurban aspirations on hold. At the same time, the shift calls into question a parallel and popular narrative: that Americans who once preferred the suburbs would now rather move into the city.

New Census data: Americans are returning to the far-flung suburbs - The Washington Post
It'll be interesting to see how this plays out in the long run, and I hope it doesn't hurt the return to the cities too much in the near future.
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Old 03-27-2015, 02:03 PM
 
Location: Fayetteville, Arkansas via ATX
1,256 posts, read 1,480,051 times
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Media likes to report about people moving back into the inner cities.

I'm late GenX, and they used to say the same things about GenX that they say about Millennials. That's why shows like Friends were set in NYC, because GenX were these "urban pioneers" who were gentrifying the inner cities that the Boomers abandoned.

That momentum carried over into the next generation of young people, who happen to be a much larger cohort than GenX, and so the pace seemed to accelerate. But rest assured, just like GenX before them, as Millennials start having families, they'll be heading to the burbs for the "good schools", etc.
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Old 03-27-2015, 05:32 PM
 
2,388 posts, read 2,958,188 times
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There are a few things going on here:

Our population is still growing - mostly through immigration - but growing nonetheless. Those people have to live somewhere.

For a long time the number of households has been growing faster than the population would indicate and this is because household size is still shrinking. The recession put a damper on the growth in households - it may have even reversed it. But now there's a lot of pent up demand.

Inner cities (of large metros anyway) are expensive because demand is strong and inventory is usually limited. Households in those places also skew smaller than those regions as a whole. That means it takes a lot more units to house 1,000 people in Center City Philadelphia where the average household size is 1.4 as opposed to Cherry Hill, NJ where the average household size is 2.8

In any case, people have to live somewhere and they can't all live downtown. Since the other suburbs are already built out, no one wants increased density, and household size is still shrinking there's really no other place for people to go.
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Old 03-28-2015, 02:22 AM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
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This is why I support urban growth boundaries. It is the best way to properly manage a growth of a city and metro.
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Old 03-28-2015, 07:26 AM
Status: "Summer!" (set 26 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,020 posts, read 102,674,652 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rock Climber View Post
Media likes to report about people moving back into the inner cities.

I'm late GenX, and they used to say the same things about GenX that they say about Millennials. That's why shows like Friends were set in NYC, because GenX were these "urban pioneers" who were gentrifying the inner cities that the Boomers abandoned.

That momentum carried over into the next generation of young people, who happen to be a much larger cohort than GenX, and so the pace seemed to accelerate. But rest assured, just like GenX before them, as Millennials start having families, they'll be heading to the burbs for the "good schools", etc.
Actually, it was the Boomers' parents who "abandoned" the city. There was a small "back to the city" movement with the Boomers too, but the same thing happened.
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Old 03-28-2015, 03:58 PM
 
9,520 posts, read 14,854,178 times
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Originally Posted by urbanlife78 View Post
This is why I support urban growth boundaries. It is the best way to properly manage a growth of a city and metro.
Yeah, if the people won't live the way you want voluntarily, force them.
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Old 03-28-2015, 11:50 PM
 
Location: Metro Atlanta & Savannah, GA - Corpus Christi, TX
4,475 posts, read 7,299,646 times
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Originally Posted by nybbler View Post
Yeah, if the people won't live the way you want voluntarily, force them.
But where does it end? Are we just going to continue developing green fields until there are none left to develop?

Yes, I realize there is a TON of land out there, but we need to be smart about how much we use.
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Old 03-29-2015, 10:55 AM
 
9,520 posts, read 14,854,178 times
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Originally Posted by WanderingImport View Post
But where does it end? Are we just going to continue developing green fields until there are none left to develop?
Are we going to keep packing people into smaller spaces until everyone gets a space no larger than 6' x 3' x 3'? If you do not stop population growth, you inevitably end up with both scenarios. If you do stop population growth, you need not worry about either.
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Old 03-29-2015, 11:22 AM
 
Location: Vallejo
14,076 posts, read 16,105,531 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nybbler View Post
Are we going to keep packing people into smaller spaces until everyone gets a space no larger than 6' x 3' x 3'? If you do not stop population growth, you inevitably end up with both scenarios. If you do stop population growth, you need not worry about either.
You'd run out of water long before either anyway. Only 3% of the land is urbanized, about five times that much has been set aside as parks and wildlife refuges. I'm a big fan of those and wouldn't mind seeing it being about double what it is currently.
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Old 03-30-2015, 02:21 AM
 
Location: Wisconsin
260 posts, read 327,940 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nybbler View Post
Are we going to keep packing people into smaller spaces until everyone gets a space no larger than 6' x 3' x 3'? If you do not stop population growth, you inevitably end up with both scenarios. If you do stop population growth, you need not worry about either.
Seems like a slippery slope fallacy here.

Majority of US population growth is due to immigration. Even so, we're not a densely populated country by any measure. Switzerland is far more densely populated, and probably boasts the best natural scenery in the world. Only problem in the US is the water shortage.

People can choose to live in denser development, but land and housing is just so cheap in the south and southwest, and gas prices are still relatively low, so sprawl will continue. Most European cities are densely populated, but have a very high quality of life. We could achieve that, but schools and crime remain a problem in American cities.


On a different note, it's odd how in this section of the forums you have folks arguing against density and population growth, meanwhile in another section there are those arguing that Tokyo is more impressive than New York due to its larger size and population.

Last edited by blainnyc; 03-30-2015 at 02:29 AM..
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