This past weekend, Christopher Leinberger wrote a provocative op-ed in the New York Times about why exurban America – which has been hard hit by foreclosures in recent years – won’t rebound, even if the economy does.
Leinberger, who is President of Smart Growth America’s project LOCUS: Responsible Real Estate Developers and Investors, went on to explain why the future is so dim for these places, and what Americans are looking for instead.
High home values and low vacancy rates in the country’s city centers and inner suburbs mean that Americans want to live in mixed-income, pedestrian-friendly areas that “support the knowledge economy, promote environmental sustainability and create jobs.” Outer fringe areas are failing to offer these features – and they will fail in the marketplace as a result.
LOCUS and its members support smart growth development for this very reason. As more Americans seek to live and work in communities with walkable neighborhoods and other smart growth features, developers have an opportunity to meet market demand while creating vibrant places with strong local economies.
Through regional organizing and federal advocacy, LOCUS is helping developers across the country create these neighborhoods. If you are a real estate developer or investor interested in being part of this new wave, consider becoming a member of LOCUS or join LOCUS’s mailing list today.
The Death of the Fringe Suburb [New York Times, November 25, 2011]