Remote Work and the Shift to Suburbia

Is the growth of working from home turning America into a ‘suburban nation?’

1 minute read

May 10, 2023, 8:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction


As the rapid shift to remote work freed many Americans from their commutes, leading them to seek more affordable housing options farther from urban centers, the American suburb is experiencing a renaissance, writes Chloe Berger in Fortune, as “the pandemic has given new legs to the idyllic, then dreaded, then beloved suburban lifestyle.”

According to new data from a Bank of America study, “Older millennials (age 31-41) are almost three times as likely to move into a house than an apartment.” According to BofA, “43% to 45% of millennials—of every age—expect to buy a house in the suburbs.”

But Berger notes that today’s suburbia differs from the past. “One of suburbia’s worst qualities or stereotypes was its pervasive whiteness, now with the surge in interest the suburbs are starting to grow to reflect the diversity of the country at large. Big suburbs are actually now more racially diverse than the nation, according to a Brookings analysis.”

This all begs the question, what do we want the suburbs of the future to look like? Are homeownership and access to open space incompatible with walkable, dense, transit-oriented places, or can the suburbs be reimagined to be more sustainable, complete communities?

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