The Enduring Allure of the Single-Family Home

Another of those highly-cited surveys of the living preferences of Americans is out and it finds support for (somewhat contradictory) elements of both smart growth and suburban development patterns.

According to Kaid Benfield, the latest national community preference survey from the National Association of Realtors shows Americans "want to have their cake and eat it, too". Although the growing desire for mixed-use walkable communities is reflected in the survey responses, so is the enduring allure of the detached single-family house with a large yard. 

"The good news for smart growth advocates is that, while jobs, education, crime and health care dominate the issues of top concern for Americans, clear majorities believe that certain elements of the smart growth and sustainability agenda should be 'extremely high' or 'high' priorities for their state governments." However, he adds, "While Americans increasingly favor communities with walkable convenience to shops and amenities, we remain a nation that prefers suburban living and its attributes."

"To me, the poll suggests that figuring out how close we can get to supplying a diversity of housing and lifestyle choices in the same community may be key to the success of a sustainability agenda."

Full Story: New Realtors' community preference poll: Americans want to have their cake and eat it, too


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