As they swell, the suburbs are changing. Perhaps none ever quite resembled the
colourless domestic enclaves popularised by 1970s television programmes such as
“The Brady Bunch”; now, they look nothing at all like them. America’s suburbs
are ethnically and demographically mixed—sometimes more so than its cities. Many
are less dormitories than economic powerhouses.
This is from an interesting, if somehow conflicted, Economist article on America’s suburbs. As I point out in WYC, there is no one suburban model. Close-in suburbs on transit links in and around “super-star cities” are likely to fare very, very well. Far-off exurbs, not so much. Suburbs come in many styles and “flavors.” There are strollervilles, boho-burgs, family lands, new urbias, exurbs – the list goes on and on. Beyond this, there are real economic drivers that are transforming suburbia. One is of course rising fuel costs. There are more options out there for “living” and tastes and preferences are changing and becoming more differentiated by group and across life-stage. One size no longer fits just about everyone. And as I’ve stated here before, in the idea-driven creative economy, time or “opportunity” costs increasingly matter to location choice. A very interesting ongoing transformation indeed – one which is far from over.