The End of the Suburbs?

We’ve written a number of posts here about place, our sense of it and where we feel connected versus where we feel isolated. I was reminded of that discussion today when reading Rod Dreher on an Atlantic article that discusses the possibility that today’s McMansions will be tomorrow’s slums. It’s worth noting that the anomie of the car culture seems to be a culprit of the demise of the ‘burb. I say this because the Atlantic piece notes that smaller centres with an urban feel are doing well too:

“It’s crucial to note that these premiums have arisen not only in central cities, but also in suburban towns that have walkable urban centers offering a mix of residential and commercial development. For instance, luxury single-family homes in suburban Westchester County, just north of New York City, sell for $375 a square foot. A luxury condo in downtown White Plains, the county’s biggest suburban city, can cost you $750 a square foot. This same pattern can be seen in the suburbs of Detroit, or outside Seattle. People are being drawn to the convenience and culture of walkable urban neighborhoods across the country—even when those neighborhoods are small.”

In other words, it’s not just the status of a NYC address or something, it’s everything else that goes with denser neighbourhoods. As James Carville might say, it’s the lifestyle, stupid.