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Thread: Cities grow more than suburbs

  1. #1
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Cities grow more than suburbs

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/47992439/ns/us_news-life/#.T-xfa7VDzTo

    For the first time in a century, most of America's largest cities are growing at a faster rate than their surrounding suburbs as young adults seeking a foothold in the weak job market shun home-buying and stay put in bustling urban centers.
    ...


    While economists tend to believe the city boom is temporary, that is not stopping many city planning agencies and apartment developers from seeking to boost their appeal to the sizable demographic of 18-to-29-year olds.
    One of the things that I have noticed in my city, is that it is not just the 18 - 29 year olds, but also an increasing baby boom population. I think that economists are way off base here. On the other hand, our City also lost population this past census, but the urban core shot up substantially.

    What is it like in your cities v suburban areas? Do you see more people living in the core of downtown? What about families? What are you doing to keep the 18 to 29 year olds in the cities after they start having kids?
    Invest in the things today, that provide the returns tomorrow.

  2. #2
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    We're seeing both down here in the Austin area. Suburbs are posting strong growth because of rapidly increasing housing costs in Austin, but that growth is taking some different forms that previously seen with far more use of NU/TND. Likewise, the suburbs are experiencing multifamily growth. A number of the Austin suburbs started life as small towns/villages, so you are seeing them begin to redevelop their downtown cores as places people want to live and employers want to be. For example, we had a business with about 30 employees relocate into our little downtown because they think it is up & coming. We're getting similar interest in bringing more residential development (both quantity and diversity) near downtown.

    When I meet with developers, I'm finding a positive shift in the type of product they want to build. It appears finance/investors are beginning to view projects that incorporate mixed use/high amenity as being a more stable/diversified investment. I think some of this is coming from residential & commercial developers partnering together more to better leverage their available capital. Even housing types are changing--I'm getting increased interest in attached, semi-attached & zero-lot-line for single-family products, which is a significant change for us. I'd still call my city sprawl, but, as I believe Dan put it, we're "friendlier sprawl" and trying to establish a development pattern that better accomodates multiple transportation modes. It looks like our Austin regional rail project is legit based on progress with Union Pacific regarding freight rail relocation and evaluation of local funding mechanisms.

    Austin is seeing a lot of growth demand in rental housing, to the point that the market has failed to meet it. As a result, multifamily occupancy rates are in the high 90s and rents are going up. These are heavily concentrated in the central part of Austin, though some additional nodes have popped up elsewhere.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  3. #3
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    Is it possible/likely that we've pretty much seen the end of the detached single-family 'tract' greenfield subdivision, as we have known it since the end of WWII, as the dominant form of residential development, leaving that era is a short-term 'flash' in the development history of the USA?

    Mike

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    Cyburbian hilldweller's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mgk920 View post
    Is it possible/likely that we've pretty much seen the end of the detached single-family 'tract' greenfield subdivision, as we have known it since the end of WWII, as the dominant form of residential development, leaving that era is a short-term 'flash' in the development history of the USA?

    Mike
    I wouldn't go that far. I think single family housing takes off again, but the economy has to improve first.

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    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mgk920 View post
    Is it possible/likely that we've pretty much seen the end of the detached single-family 'tract' greenfield subdivision, as we have known it since the end of WWII, as the dominant form of residential development, leaving that era is a short-term 'flash' in the development history of the USA?

    Mike
    No. There are still people who want that product, people who think they want that product, and people who can't afford any other product.
    -------
    Give a man a gun, and he can rob a bank. Give a man a bank, and he can rob the world.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Linda_D's avatar
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    Here's an article that sort of fits in this scenario. It's about young people (25-29) being most likely to migrate out of state.

    Out of State Migration and Cities
    If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich. -- John F. Kennedy, January 20, 1961

  7. #7
    Cyburbian hilldweller's avatar
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    From the above article:
    In are new, 300 square-foot "micro" apartments under consideration for wider development in dense cities such as New York, San Francisco, Boston and Seattle, which are seeking to attract young single adults who value affordable spaces in prime locations to call their own.
    300 s.f.?!?

  8. #8
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by hilldweller View post
    From the above article:


    300 s.f.?!?
    Its possible, Loft the bed, tiny bath with one sink serving both the kitchen and bath. This is what Mayor Bloomberg proposes. This was the basic size for the Katrina Cottages.

    Desirable? Not for me. I'd want to pull out all stops and say get 450 s.f.!
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  9. #9
    Cyburbian dw914er's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by hilldweller View post
    From the above article:


    300 s.f.?!?
    My requirement for a garage would be bigger than my house.

    Though, I probably would be fine with that size.
    And that concludes staff’s presentation...

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Linda_D's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by DetroitPlanner View post
    Its possible, Loft the bed, tiny bath with one sink serving both the kitchen and bath. This is what Mayor Bloomberg proposes. This was the basic size for the Katrina Cottages.

    Desirable? Not for me. I'd want to pull out all stops and say get 450 s.f.!
    I have to wonder if there will actually be a long-term market for these places.

    They could be 10 x 30 or 12 x 25, with a bath/closet/entrance at one end, one of those tiny all-one-piece kitchens along on wall, and windows at the other end. What they really sound like is student housing (I lived in a tiny studio about this size for a while as a grad student many years ago, but only for about 2 months before I found a real apartment).
    If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich. -- John F. Kennedy, January 20, 1961

  11. #11
    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by dw914er View post
    My requirement for a garage would be bigger than my house.

    Though, I probably would be fine with that size.
    I had a class in grad school with a PhD student who was doing his dissertation on housing in shipping containers. Thought and clever arranging can go a long way to make a space. I could have done it when younger.
    -------
    Give a man a gun, and he can rob a bank. Give a man a bank, and he can rob the world.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mgk920 View post
    Is it possible/likely that we've pretty much seen the end of the detached single-family 'tract' greenfield subdivision, as we have known it since the end of WWII, as the dominant form of residential development, leaving that era is a short-term 'flash' in the development history of the USA?

    Mike
    Not in Metro Detroit. The Township I live in has still been cranking out 300+ new single-family starts the last few years.

    But maybe Southeast Michigan a paradox because our urban core is a cesspool.
    "I'm very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany"

  13. #13
    Cyburbian
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    I can't imagine too many people being satisfied with 300 sf micro-apartments their whole lives either, but I don't think that's the point behind these units anyway. They're intended to be cheap temporary dormitories for transitory young people desperately chasing jobs in pricey metros.* It's self-evident that if a single person gets married or has a kid, they won't stay in these. We won't know if there's a long-lasting market for them unless we let developers take a risk and actually build them.

    *Hey, remember rooming houses, boardinghouses, flophouses, SROs, and residential hotels? Cities across the country regulated these out of existence, and then they discovered they actually needed them once their streets were crowded with homeless young people. These cities essentially created their "affordable housing" crises.

    The real problem is when some people assert "I'd never want one of these, and I'm sure no one else would either," and so they end up banning them out of this belief. They confuse "I don't want" with "nobody wants." Besides, even though a SFDH is a dominant ideal, it isn't always practical depending on your personal situation: why would a single young person chasing jobs from metro to metro buy a house just to be stuck with it if they get laid off and have to relocate? The housing fiasco was partly caused by a desire to put the entire country into their ideal living situation (a SFDH) regardless of their personal economic situation. But it turns out you can't just push everyone into their own castles and run an economy on that.

    Another thing to remember (think back to your years of living in a small college dorm) is that these micro-apartments are not going to be occupied around the clock. They're essentially just rentable bedrooms with toilets; the kids living in them will probably spend most of their time at work or out in the "public rooms" of the city socializing and networking with their friends. You don't need a multi-room apartment or house if the city ends up being a deconstructed McMansion: rather than getting cabin fever in some isolated vinyl palace with its own basement bar, home movie theater, restaurant-grade kitchen, and fancy home gym, you just end up using various city perks as "rooms" instead. Starbucks becomes the living room. That sushi place becomes the kitchen. A real bar replaces the basement bar. The park replaces the home gym. The bus replaces the garage, and so on.
    Last edited by marcszar; 11 Nov 2012 at 5:50 PM.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Vancity's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by hilldweller View post
    From the above article:


    300 s.f.?!?
    I don't know how many times I have wished that I could just rent out a tiny room in the city. But alas, there are none, so I share a 1 bedroom apartment with a roommate, who lives in the livingroom, otuside of the city. I say for young people, tiny spaces are a great idea. I'd love to live on my own but I can't find anything small enough to be affordable.

    Quote Originally posted by marcszar View post
    They're essentially just rentable bedrooms with toilets; the kids living in them will probably spend most of their time at work or out in the "public rooms" of the city socializing and networking with their friends. You don't need a multi-room apartment or house if the city ends up being a deconstructed McMansion: rather than getting cabin fever in some isolated vinyl palace with its own basement bar, home movie theater, restaurant-grade kitchen, and fancy home gym, you just end up using various city perks as "rooms" instead. Starbucks becomes the living room. That sushi place becomes the kitchen. A real bar replaces the basement bar. The park replaces the home gym. The bus replaces the garage, and so on.
    YES. YES. YES. ^ That is how I, at 23, want to live. Seeing as I am going to be in school for the next 6 or 7 years (part time study, full time job..) ... I would feel more stable in something like this, relying on only myself (roommates move out frequently, the one I'm with now will be gone within 2 years, she's a student moving for school.. young people don't stay in one place.) than I would relying on others for the half of the rent that I can't afford.

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