Cities vs. Suburbs: Joel Kotkin Tells It Like it Is. Again.

We can’t do better than to quote from Joel Kotkln’s latest:

“Theoretically, the suburbs should be the dominant politically force in America. Some 44 million Americans live in the core cities of America’s 51 major metropolitan areas, while nearly 122 million Americans live in the suburbs. In other words, nearly three-quarters of metropolitan Americans live in suburbs. [ ] Yet it has been decided, mostly by self-described progressives, that suburban living is too unecological, not mention too uncool, and even too white for their future America. Density is their new holy grail, for both the world and the U.S. Across the country efforts are now being mounted—through HUD, the EPA, and scores of local agencies—to impede suburban home-building, or to raise its cost. Notably in coastal California, but other places, too, suburban housing is increasingly relegated to the affluent.” Joel Kotkin, Countering Progressives’ Assault on Suburbia, Real Clear Politics, July 10, 2015.


Kotkin’s conclusion:

“In the coming year, suburbanites should demand more respect from Washington, D.C., from the media, the political class and from the planning community. If people choose to move into the city, or favor density in their community, fine. But the notion that it is the government’s job to require only one form of development contradicts basic democratic principles and, in effect, turns even the most local zoning decision into an exercise in social engineering.”


So in the end, it’s a matter of individual choice which, in a free society, should be determined by people’s decisions where and how they wish to live, not by bureaucrats imposing lifestyles by fiat.

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