A New Coalition for Urban Place

Who benefits the most from synergistic growth, where the parts of the built environment are brought together to create a strong community and sense of place?
March 4, 2014, 7am PST | newurban
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Urbanists are understandably frustrated at the slow pace of progress toward communities of synergy — “organic whole” places that are compact and walkable. In recent decades, demographic trends still favored suburban expansion — and spread-out development was and is supported by deeply rooted laws, institutions, and cultural values. 

Now that a long-term pent-up market demand has emerged for urban living in cities and suburbs alike, more fundamental change is possible. Many demographic groups and business sectors benefit from assembling communities in which the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.

The so-called “creative class” and young adults strongly favor urban places and are sought by business and civic interests in both cities and suburbs.

The share of renters is growing nationwide — the mirror-image of homeownership decline — and this group is gaining respect as perhaps the strongest segment of the US real estate market.

... Businesses that depend on urban places include car-share and bike-share companies, mixed-use builders and developers, the transit industry, urban retailers, firms that need access to the workforce and innovation of cities, businesses that depend on tourism nurtured by character of place, downtown business associations, and financial institutions that invest in transit-oriented places.

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Published on Monday, March 3, 2014 in Better! Cities & Towns
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