Suburban Living With Urban Amenities

Bill Fulton visits his family in Rockville, Maryland, and discovers that a young family looking for suburban space can find it within walking distance of the library, the Metro stop, and mixed-use development.
September 1, 2010, 11am PDT | Tim Halbur
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Fulton writes:

"Four years ago, childless and carless, my nephew and his wife lived the urban life in the fashionable Washington, D.C., neighborhood of Cleveland Park. Child No. 1 pushed them four miles out, to the expensive inner Maryland suburb of Bethesda, where they bought a cozy two-bedroom condominium that had been converted from an apartment. Then, a couple of months ago, Child No. 2 pushed them another 12 miles farther out – beyond the Beltway – to Rockville, where they bought a four-bedroom, 2,200-square-foot house.

Now they are living the suburban life – which means, inevitably, a large yard, two or three cars, and an autobound life for all concerned, including their infant. Right?

Well, not exactly. Yes, they have headed for the suburbs. But their life isn't really very autobound at all. Suburbia to them means an end-unit townhome, one car, a daily bus trip to day care, a 10- to 15-minute walk to the library and shopping at Rockville Town Square, and D.C. Metro commutes (13 minutes for him, 30 for her) to work and back.

To them, living in the suburbs is about living, not about driving."

Thanks to Bill Fulton

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Published on Tuesday, August 31, 2010 in California Planning & Development Report
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