As noted here many times, demographic changes in the workforce are key to understanding the movement to create more urban environments.
In this article, Eliot Brown writes how some auto-oriented office parks are planning to convert to walkable, mixed-use job centers. While Tysons Corner may be the best example, Brown clears that it is part of a nation-wide urban planning movement.
"Planners in places like Bellevue, Wash., and White Flint, Md., also are engaging in large-scale makeovers with mixed-use towers as a response to a generation of young workers who like downtowns and employer preferences shifting away from suburban campuses.
Another bastion of isolated office parks, the 7,000-acre Research Triangle Park in North Carolina, recently revamped its future development plans to encourage retail and housing, which had been prohibited there until 2012.
Brown adds a cautionary note. "It's still too early to tell whether these transformations will succeed," he notes, about the plans that "try to convert sprawling areas built for car-dependent commuters and shoppers into 24-hour walkable communities." Ed McMahon, a senior fellow at the Urban Land Institute, a Washington-based real-estate think, elaborates:
"There's probably more plans for suburban development like [Tysons Corner] than there are going to be successful projects."