Carrie Bradshaw Meets Jane Jacobs: Living Single In The Big City

More people live alone in the United States now than at any other time in the nation's history, and most of those people live in cities. Eric Klinenberg's Going Solo describes the next great demographic and urban trend.
March 30, 2012, 12pm PDT | Josh Stephens
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"Not surprisingly, few of these "singletons" live behind picket fences or shop at Walmart. Rather, they are predominantly an urban species, living in close proximity to work, friends, and amenities that, according to Klinenberg, can make solo living a more preferable to, say, marriage and child-rearing. Naturally, they seek certain things in their cities that mom, dad, and 2.5 kids do not. We're talking about high-density housing, cafes, bars, coffee places, and even bowling alleys, where they will not bowl alone but rather will meet their friends and enjoy the solitary life together. It's as if Ross, Joey, and Chandler all moved into their own places."

"As his bowling references suggest, Klinenberg, a professor of sociology at NYU, takes direct aim at scholars such as Robert Putnam, whose 2001 Bowling Alone decried the unraveling of civic life in America. Indeed, in the late 1990s that trend was in full force, but since then it has reversed, thanks in part to the Internet. In 1950, 22 percent of adults were single and accounted for 9 percent of households. Now, more than 50 percent are single and 31 million-15 percent-live alone. A full one-third of people 65 years and older live alone."

Thanks to Josh Stephens

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Published on Tuesday, March 27, 2012 in California Planning & Development Report
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