The Myth of the Suburban Revival

Recent economics data released from the Brookings Institute have shown that job sprawl has spread outside of metro downtowns, including Cincinnati. Planning theorists however are at odds as to what this means with New Geography’s Joel Kotkin claiming the “triumph of suburbia” over the center city. However; his assertions seem to be based on several false assumptions in the market and does not take into account the millenial generations preference for walkable neighborhoods. Is this a City vs. Suburb debate or as Robert Steuteville claims a walkable vs. auto-dominated debate? More from Better Cities & Towns:

In his analysis, Kotlin ignores many inconvenient facts and trends that don’t fit his narrative of an inexorable, historical march to lower density in generation after generation. Real estate values have declined in the automobile-oriented suburbs relative to compact, mixed-use neighborhoods. There’s a growing preference for rental housing, and multifamily development has recovered far more quickly than single-family development. Multifamily development has taken on a new character in recent years. In the 1990s it was garden apartments in the suburbs. Now it is being built in urban, transit-served neighborhoods.

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