Reviving Suburbs Requires an Urban Sensibility

Richard Florida argues that edge cities ravaged by the recession should take cues from urban development patterns to spur growth.
October 11, 2010, 9am PDT | Lynn Vande Stouwe
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Many suburban and exurban neighborhoods have borne the worst of the foreclosure crisis, and as a result are becoming increasingly blighted and poverty-stricken. Meanwhile inner cities across the countries continue to gentrify, attracting new residents who drive economy growth. Florida asserts the suburban areas that have best weathered the economic recession are much like successful urban neighborhoods--walkable, dense and diverse--and suggests that flagging suburbs may need to refashion themselves accordingly.

Florida writes:

"Remaking America's sprawling suburbs, with their enormous footprints, shoddy construction, hastily built infrastructure and dying malls, is shaping up to be the biggest urban revitalization challenge of modern times-far larger in scale, scope and cost than the revitalization of our inner cities."

There is also a longer version of this article on Florida's website, creativeclass.com.

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Published on Saturday, October 9, 2010 in The Wall Street Journal
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