Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Developers, Planners, and Politicians Alike Should Heed These Words Lest New Urbanism Become Stale and Waste Away

As I continue to bang the drum for family-friendly city neighborhoods I feel like I'm beating my head against the wall of empty-nest hipsterdom.

Then along comes today's Wall Street Journal op-ed (of all things) and puts wind in my sails:

Married people with children tend to be both successful and motivated, precisely the people who make economies go. They are twice as likely to be in the top 20% of income earners, according to the Census, and their incomes have been rising considerably faster than the national average.

Indeed, if you talk with recruiters and developers in the nation's fastest growing regions, you find that the critical ability to lure skilled workers, long term, lies not with bright lights and nightclubs, but with ample economic opportunities, affordable housing and family friendly communities not too distant from work ....

The evidence thus suggests that the obsession with luring singles to cities is misplaced. Instead, suggests Paul Levy, president of Philadelphia's Center City district association, the emphasis should be on retaining young people as they grow up, marry, start families and continue to raise them.
The question is: will that wind drive me where I am or pull me out of the city? I will not wait forever for Nashville to catch up.

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