Why Millennials Might Save the Suburbs

Observers have anxiously wondered what will happen to America's urban revival as Millennials start families and seek the types of amenities more readily found in the suburbs. Relax, says Shane Phillips, cities will be fine and suburbs will be better.
August 28, 2013, 7am PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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Countless observers have raised doubts about the durability of America's urban revival as aging Millennials seek the amenities (bigger homes, good schools, affordable neighborhoods) that attracted their parents and grandparents to the suburbs.  

"But we should stop worrying," says Phillips. "Some young families are going to leave the city, and not only is it not going to be as bad for cities as people think, it's probably going to be great for America. Cities are already the most productive places on the planet and the primary exporters of intellectual goods; why not embrace the export of urbanism, too?"

Phillips bases his entreaty to relax around two central arguments: 1) "there's absolutely no reason to believe that the next generation won't be able to replace Millennials that decide to decamp to the suburbs," and 2) "sending some newly-minted urbanites back into the suburbs from whence they came could be just what the suburbs need."

"Millennials may have saved cities, and they might just save the suburbs too," he concludes. 

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Published on Monday, August 26, 2013 in Better Institutions
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