Defpoints


Death of the suburbs?
July 8, 2008, 10:01 am
Filed under: Architecture, Design, Economy, Landscape, North America, Politics, Urban Design

More on the city–suburb debate.

Christopher Leinberger wrote about suburbs as the new slum in March’s Atlantic.

Now Joel Kotkin writes in the LA Times that suburbia is not dead yet.

Not so fast. The “out of the suburbs, back to the city” narrative rests more on anecdote than demographic or economic fact. . . . Even with economic growth slowing, many suburbs, exurbs and smaller towns, especially those whose economies are tied to energy, are continuing to do better than most cities in terms of job creation and population growth. . . . The problem for many cities is that they lack the jobs for people to move close to. Since the 1970s, the suburbs have been the home for most high-tech jobs and now the majority of office space. . . . Of the 20 leading job centers in Southern California by ZIP Code, none are downtown.

Peter Viles sums it up in his blog at the LA Times. He points out that this ‘back to the city’ phenomena will most likely effect only the exurbs, those newest, furthest outlying suburbs—precisely the communities those most susceptible to subprime lending bought into.

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