One good thing about the recession is the suburbs are coming to a end soon. — Brooklynian

One good thing about the recession is the suburbs are coming to a end soon.

Nationwide, 55 percent of the poor population in metropolitan areas is now in the suburbs, up from 49 percent.

One of the worst experiments in human history with the advent of cheap oil. it's very environmental not friendly. all things are spread out, no density and economics of scale for all things.

Wealth flew into the suburbs after ww2 and now with some parts of the cities gentrifying. hopefully this will mean a end to it.


  • We live in interesting times. much of how we perceive ourselves is going to change over the next 10 years.

  • Sorry, but I've lived in the suburbs for the last 24 years. In both New York and New Jersey. The suburbs are growing faster than ever and if they're coming to an end it's because there's less open space and the green areas are being developed. Small farms are being sold to builders at an alarming rate. So, actually the 'burbs are getting to look more like the cities as houses are bunched right next to each other.

  • Agreed PragmaticGuy, but that kind of accomplishes the same thing that AW is lusting after, doesn't it?

    Spent the first 17 years of my life trying to get the hell off Long Island, and the next 20 swearing I'd never move back. Still holding on to that, but definitely harder with two kids.

  • Today's Urban Planning buzzword is New Urbanism

  • Having lived in both suburbia and gentrified/un-gentrified areas, I think each area has something to offer. Yes, the 'burbs are spread out and there is no density (but the McMansion boom has more or less curtailed that) but the density in the 5 boroughs has also dramatically increased. Is that a good thing? To ACW, I guess it is. To me - not so much. I do not get the "economics of scale" for all things - does he mean shopping at Costco or heating a building?

    Also, the point as to wealth flight to the suburbs, I would sincerely doubt that unless ACW is referring to Chappaqua or the Hamptons. There was a housing shortage after WW2 and since housing was so much cheaper in the "outposts" most returning military (who had married and reproduced by then) jumped at the chance to move out of a cramped (often shared) apartment.

    The flight from the 'burbs appears to be the 20 somethings - not many job opportunities, limited rental housing and limited night life. Even if they chose to commute to the city, transportation issues (schedules, cost, driving, etc.) are an issue.

    Certain areas of the boroughs will continue to be gentrified and others will decline in "popularity." In walking thru Bay Ridge last week the entire population seemed to consist of cuacasian senior citizens, young middle eastern women and children and some asian children.

    Not many drivers - mostly pedestrians.

    Again, not sure what ACW is hoping will end (suburbia? gentrification? fossil fuel usage?) - or even why he hopes it will (landlord with available rental space? Alernative fuel supplier?). Different strokes for different folks. If you can't (or won't) drive, suburbs ain't for you. If you want space and have 10 kids, maybe the city ain't for you. Want to party like a rock star - definitely not the suburbs.

    Should be an interesting time as more corporations leave NYC and embrace teleworking, alternative fuel transportation is developed, current population ages and immigrants assimilate. Peekskill - the new Williamsburg.

  • suburbs give me the chills. and I spent most of my first 18 years in various ones.

  • I agree BG - but all part of what you want from life.

    One of my friends gave an economic rational for his move to the burbs. If he sent all three kids to a private school (because of course the public schools in NYC are not up to his standards despite graduating from a city HS and a CUNY college) it would cost him over $30K per year. He moved to a Westchester 'burb near Chappaqua where his taxes are just about that. He is able to write off the taxes whereas he could not write off the tuition. But the trade-off costs were losing the edge, increased commuting time/cost, petty neighborhood bickering, less time with the family, etc.

    The difference between his kids and city kids is pretty amazing now.

    Again - decisions made on what the perceived benefit may be.

  • Whenever my parents would go see friends in NJ for dinner, the friends would try to convince them to buy a house in the area. They would show them around I, even as a child would get horrified. Moving to the suburbs seemed like the worst kind of nightmare. I may have been a teensy bit of an anxious child, but I do wish my parents had made clear to me that they were never serious as they played with the idea out loud on the trip home.

    If the reason for the 'burbs being so bad is the fact that one must drive everywhere and everything is spread out, by that rational, rural areas are the worst.

    Even in my adult life the idea of moving to the suburbs is a horrifying one. I could absolutely see moving to a nice, not financially depressed, rural New England town.

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