Friday, March 24, 2017

Resilient Cities

As we've been saying for a while that the main thrust of urban development the past ten or fifteen years has mostly been about building nice things for rich people.
The fastest growth was in those lower-density suburbs. Those counties grew by 1.3 percent in 2016, the fastest rate since 2008, when the housing bust put an end to rapid homebuilding in these areas. In the South and West, growth in large-metro lower-density suburbs topped 2 percent in 2016, led by counties such as Kendall and Comal north of San Antonio; Hays near Austin; and Forsyth, north of Atlanta.3

Those figures run counter to the “urban revival” narrative that has been widely discussed in recent years. That revival is real, but it has mostly been for rich, educated people in particular hyperurban neighborhoods rather than a broad-based return to city living. To be sure, college-educated millennials — at least those without school-age kids — took to the city, and better-paying jobs have shifted there, too. But other groups — older adults, families with kids in school, and people of all ages with lower incomes — either can’t afford or don’t want an urban address.
Remember when Pres Kabacoff told us we needed to push out the poors because they are a "drag on the city's economy"?  This is what he was talking about.  Rich people are better at being "resilient." 

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