In John Levy’s Contemporary Urban Planning, he cites a shift of “considerable preference” in the millennial generation from suburban sprawl to a more “urban life” (Levy 27). However, this shift in preference should not necessarily translate into the younger generation leaving suburban communities to live in the city, nor is leaving also the solution to fixing suburban sprawl. Dowell Myers, an Urban Planning professor at USC argues that “millennials’ preference for cities will fade as they start families and become more established in their careers”(1). As a result, a trend towards retrofitting suburban areas to a more urban environment has started to sprawl throughout the United States.
Suburban areas are shifting towards urban burbs to attract more millennials that want the urban atmosphere, but are also looking to start a family. These “urban burbs” are “communities” that are “simultaneously pedestrian-transit friendly, environmentally conscious, and incorporate mixed housing types and public parks for community gathering”(2). Urban burbs allow millennials to experience the city life without the congested living experience. Redevelopment is focused in downtown areas and creating a great living atmosphere for the people. These downtown areas in most suburban cities have been neglected as people started to move in to subdivision communities in the suburban sprawl era. Redeveloping these downtown areas will create an attractive place for people to live in, and also revitalize an important feature of the city.
The idea of urban burbs is a great answer to why suburban areas should not be built around car dependency and mostly fragmented subdivision communities. It is a viable and attractive alternative to current suburban cities in the United States. These urban burbs would serve as “spots, small or large, of urban style development in the larger matrix of the suburbs” (Levy 28). Urban burbs should be an important consideration for Urban Planners and Designers on what future cities need to look like, and what cities that need redevelopment should aspire to be.
Levy, John M. Contemporary Urban Planning. 11th ed., New York, NY, Routledge, 2017.
(1)-Morris, David Z. “Why Millennials Are About to Leave Cities in Droves.” Fortune.com, Fortune, 31 July 2016, fortune.com/2016/03/28/millennials-leaving-cities/. Accessed 25 Sept. 2017.
(2)-“Millennials Prefer Cities to Suburbs, Subways to Driveways.” What People Watch, Listen To and Buy, Nielsen, 4 Mar. 2014, http://www.nielsen.com/us/en/insights/news/2014/millennials-prefer-cities-to-suburbs-subways-to-driveways.html. Accessed 25 Sept. 2017.