|New housing construction|
Aliso Viejo, California
Since I'm in a clean-out-the-drop box mode, I decided to pull out this article written by Richard Florida for City Lab titled, "Where Cities Are Growing Faster Than Their Suburbs." It's a good look at where, in the United States, urban growth is outpacing suburban growth. For much of the past fifty years, suburbs grew faster than cities. However, over the last ten years, the reverse has been true. This phenomenon is something that journalist and executive editor of Governing, Alan Ehrenhalt refers to as "the great inversion." Mr. Ehrenhalt is also the author of the book The Great Inversion And The Future Of The American City, in which he fully outlines the major trends that driving the shift in the way we live. Essentially, "the great inversion" is a "trading of places within metropolitan areas." (www.citylab.com/work/2012/05/how-and-why-american-cities.../2015/) Mr. Florida points that "...the question of where growth is centered-in cities or suburbs-has emerged as one of the great dividing lines in the debate over urban America's future.
|Urbanized Areas and Urban Clusters 2010|
William Frey found that nineteen out of the fifty-one largest metropolitan regions saw their central cities grow faster then the surrounding suburbs from 2012-13. Specifically, these include most of the knowledge economy centers such as: New York, Washington D.C., Denver, and Seattle. Richard Florida decided to do a little more research into the great inversion. With the help of his team at Martin Prosperity Institute, Mr. Florida took a closer look where and what of urban and suburban growth over the same time frames, comparing metrics to overall metropolitan growth.
|Population growth in metropolitan areas|
|Best Cities Score|
By contrast, suburban growth exceeded urban increases in the remaining thirty large metropolitan areas. These include the traditionally sprawl-centric Sun Belt areas such as Jacksonville, Houston, Las Vegas, and Nashville as well as Rust Belt cities such as Detroit, Baltimore, Indianapolis, and Cleveland. The big shock was the growth rate of the suburbs near San Francisco, which grew 1.5 percent, more than the 1.3 percent seen by the primary city. Just as shocking was the fact that primary city growth out distanced suburban growth in the nerd epicenter of Silicon Valley, where the primary city-San Jose metro-grew 1.5 percent in contrast to the 1.3 percent growth rate of the suburbs.
|Comparing metropolitan, city, and suburban growth|
Thus, even though the new numbers conclude that urban growth is slightly down from 2010-11, there is little reason to conclude that the urban revival was a momentary flash. Urban growth is still higher than suburban growth in one-third of all large metropolitan areas. While it is true that the current figure, nineteen metropolitan areas, is lower than the 2010-11 number of twenty-seven metro, more than half, saw rapid growth in their primary cities. Nevertheless, the current number of growing metropolitan areas remains far ahead of where it was in the previous decade, when William Frey concluded that just five large metropolitan areas saw faster growth in their primary cities than their suburbs during the 2000s. Therefore, it would seem that the era of suburban growth, for better or worse, has come to a close.
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