Reflecting Back, Looking AheadI recommend you read the entire article. It looks in greater depth at the drivers for this trend in housing and transportation, and outlines what the National League of Cities is doing to address it.
by James Brooks
People who earn large cash profits from developing residential and commercial real estate suggest that retiring baby-boomers and young couples with or without children want to live in walkable, mixed-use neighborhoods. “We in real estate are fundamentally re-tooling how we design, plan, regulate and finance to serve this pent-up demand,” says land use developer and strategist Chris Leinberger.
The evidence points to a willingness for many to give up thousands of square feet of living space and open land in exchange for more compact residences close to shopping, dining and entertainment. The trend also suggests that people will pay higher prices for housing in denser communities in exchange for reductions in time, distance and costs associated with traveling by car to reach an employment destination.
The trend line is moving in the direction of urban community models. If borne out over the next decade or two, this shift will represent the most dramatic change in land use, housing and transportation patterns since the completion of Levittown in 1951.