The resurrection of urban living
The Wall Street Journal (6/16, A18, Karp) reports, increasingly, people want to live in urban areas, a change of "a half-century-long pattern of how and where Americans live," due to demographic changes and economic trends such as higher gasoline prices.
"The generational demands" of housing location from both baby boomers and millennials (those "born between the late 1970s and mid-1990s") are "in perfect sync." Getting ready to retire, baby boomers are looking to downsize their homes and simplify their lives in urban condos. Likewise, millennials are attracted by higher-density urban living, as a way of "rebelling the suburban cul-de-sac culture that pervaded their youth."
Additionally, the subprime mortgage crisis and high gasoline prices are "delivering further gut punches by blighting remote subdivisions nationwide and rendering long commutes untenable for middle-class Americans," when the used-to-be drivable surbub has become "for many a mile too far."
Some conceives that the drive for urban living may reverse the trend of urban sprawl and push for New Urbanism practices in land use and construction. Traffic behaviors will change accordingly: with the hasten demand of urban living, Americans may mimic "a European preference of public transportation."