Is America’s suburban dream collapsing into a nightmare?
This piece in from a tipster about the changing American landscape. While I found it a bit reactionary about the upward tick in crime in some suburban communities as a result of subprime-related vacancies, the trends outlined by urban planning professor Christopher Leinberger seemed to reflect some of the realities we’re seeing in Newark and other New Jersey cities.
Last year, the population tipped from favoring suburban to urban communities when a study found that the majority of the American public now lives in cities.
I also found it interesting that when I asked Executive Director at Leadership Newark, Celia King, what her five-year prediction for Newark was, that she imagined — over every other prediction she could have made — that Newark would be a walkable community.
“The American dream is absolutely changing,” he told CNN.
This change can be witnessed in places like Atlanta, Georgia, Detroit, Michigan, and Dallas, Texas, said Leinberger, where once rundown downtowns are being revitalized by well-educated, young professionals who have no desire to live in a detached single family home typical of a suburbia where life is often centered around long commutes and cars.
Instead, they are looking for what Leinberger calls “walkable urbanism” — both small communities and big cities characterized by efficient mass transit systems and high density developments enabling residents to walk virtually everywhere for everything — from home to work to restaurants to movie theaters.