The popular narrative about younger generations aging and leaving urban centers is presented as inevitable. But most news stories fail to examine why many younger people are taking up residence in suburbia—or whether or not the suburbs they’re choosing have more in common with cities or the exurbs their parents preferred. Perhaps their move to the suburbs is more a product of constrained housing supply that leaves them with little choice but to decamp as they grow.
With all of the attention showered on “Crystal City” (Arlington, VA adjacent to DC) and Long Island City (Queens, New York City) after being selected as Amazon’s second/third headquarters, what are the lessons to learn for the 236 other disappointed communities, and what strategies could improve their future prospects?
Cities of all sizes are facing a shortage of housing for their poorest, most vulnerable residents. And a smaller set of booming cities are becoming completely unaffordable to even the middle class. To ensure enough attainable housing is built to satisfy demand, particularly as new transit service comes to an area and raises land values, such housing has to be planned for and spread out as much as possible.