Drivable sub-urbanism has been the dominant form of development in the past sixty years. But cities are thriving and Americans are looking for more housing options. According to The Option of Urbanism: Investing in a New American Dream (published by Island Press, November 2007), empty nesters and Gen Xers are looking to live in lively, urban neighborhoods within easy walking distance of work, school, shopping and entertainment.
Facts from The Option of Urbanism:

  • Real estate and infrastructure, including government buildings, accounts for 35% of wealth in the US and is the largest asset class in the economy.
  • There are only two options for real estate development and the built environment (drivable sub-urbanism and walkable urbanism).
  • Drivable sub-urbanism has been the defacto domestic policy of the country since the 1950s.
  • Growing demand for walkable urbanism has resulted in a large gap between the current limited supply and much larger pent-up demand, boosting per square foot premiums for walkable urban residential, office and retail space from 40 to 200 percent.
  • More than 80 percent of recent residents in downtown Philadelphia and Detroit are college educated.
  • Recent research in selected metropolitan areas shows that 30 to 40 percent of households want to live in walkable urban communities, but only 5 to 20 percent of the housing supply is in that category.

The author, Christopher Leinberger, is coming here tomorrow to discuss this.  What impact will this slow, but perceptable shift back toward cities have on SW Rochester?

 

http://www.optionofurbanism.com/index.html

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I look forward to you review of this Dana.  I'm already committed to the 19WCA Public Safety/Thurston Rd Street Watch meeting tomorrow, but this sounds very interesting.

I'll be at tonight's lecture, and I'll post more comments on this topic later.

 

I will be going to the Public Safety/ Thurston Rd. Street Watch meetings next month, and I strongly encourage more 19thWCA members to become active in our committees and activities, including the Public Safety Committee.  Public safety is one of the key issues that is holding back the SW's potential to benefit from the trends toward urbanism.

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