Last week the Today Show featured a book by Leigh Gallagher titled The End of the Suburbs: Where the American Dream Is Moving. In her book Gallagher points to a number of social and economic trends that contribute to the increasing preference for an urban lifestyle including the rise of energy prices, an increasing awareness of environmental issues, lengthy commutes, and a preference for a livelier neighborhood with a sense of community.
Check out this short clip from the Today Show for an interesting look at various people choosing cities over suburbs, including a family with two children who chose to live in a two bedroom apartment in downtown Boston. Interestingly, the Today Show does not ignore the increasingly blurry lines between suburban and urban; the end of this clip features a Kentlands-esque “suburban-urban street development” outside of Chicago.
Despite her book’s title, Gallagher notes that the suburbs aren’t simply going to disappear: “when I talk about the ‘end of the suburbs,’ I do not mean to suggest that all suburban communities are going to vaporize. Plenty of older suburbs are going strong… and many newer suburbs are reinventing themselves to adapt to the times.”
The Washington Post also ran an interview with Gallagher this weekend offering more insight into her book. When asked how a suburb could reinvent itself, she said it should strive to be “a place people want to walk around. Organic, village-type environments that are how the suburbs started to begin with. Public transit also. People want out of their cars, especially millennials.”