Sunday, January 31, 2010

Bring back the families, bring back the neighborhood

I have preached over and over that if urban neighborhoods are going to be viable for quality growth and development, a concerted effort has to be made to attract families with children. Ask East Nashville, which was recently named one of the "South's Best Comeback Neighborhoods":
After 10-plus years of a slow and steady rise, the neighborhood has managed to keep its eclectic, artsy vibe while welcoming a diverse mix of newcomers. “Of all the great things happening here, when I see young moms pushing strollers down the sidewalks, I know this place is back,” says local shop owner Debbie Goodwyn.
The driving forces of development in North End neighborhoods seem to lock on attracting lifestyle hipsters without intentions to keep the families they have or pulling in more families. Problem is we will never come back without the generational diversity that families bring, as uncool as that may sound to empty-nesters.


  1. That is the rub.

    No kids = no neighborhood revitalization.

    Well, now we need to fix the school system. Putting ones children into Davidson Counties schools is borderline child abuse. Educators shouldn't have to "brag" about how safe their schools are as a result of the number of officers who are deployed there. Having a good young mother's education program is NOT indicative of a quality education system.

    Most "breeders" that would otherwise fit the profile of an urban hipster aren't moving to your area because of schools.

    Fix schools, crime, and taxes and the neighborhoods will follow.

  2. The various downtown markets including this one will never heed this logic. Making rooms for families means the end of stamping out $750,000 condos with 1 1/2 to 2 bedrooms. Downtown developers and realtors only know how to push upgraded fixtures and "meat-market" type amenities. They would instantly get a look stupid expression if they were asked to sell something that was family friendly instead of "luxury". None of these people are able to go to dinner parties and brag about kid friendly amenities like decent sized 2nd and 3rd bedrooms (for less than a $million anyway) and proximity to school or school transportation. It is all about the wine coolers, sunning decks by the pool, imported granite counter tops, and terrazzo floors.