"DRIVE through any number of outer-ring suburbs in America, and you’ll see boarded-up and vacant strip malls, surrounded by vast seas of empty parking spaces. These forlorn monuments to the real estate crash are not going to come back to life, even when the economy recovers. And that’s because the demand for the housing that once supported commercial activity in many exurbs isn’t coming back, either.
By now, nearly five years after the housing crash, most Americans understand that a mortgage meltdown was the catalyst for the Great Recession, facilitated by underregulation of finance and reckless risk-taking. Less understood is the divergence between center cities and inner-ring suburbs on one hand, and the suburban fringe on the other.
It was predominantly the collapse of the car-dependent suburban fringe that caused the mortgage collapse.
In the late 1990s, high-end outer suburbs contained most of the expensive housing in the United States, as measured by price per square foot, according to data I analyzed from the Zillow real estate database.
Today, the most expensive housing is in the high-density, pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods of the center city and inner suburbs. Some of the most expensive neighborhoods in their metropolitan areas are Capitol Hill in Seattle; Virginia Highland in Atlanta; German Village in Columbus, Ohio, and Logan Circle in Washington. Considered slums as recently as 30 years ago, they have been transformed by gentrification.
Simply put, there has been a profound structural shift — a reversal of what took place in the 1950s, when drivable suburbs boomed and flourished as center cities emptied and withered.
The shift is durable and lasting because of a major demographic event: the convergence of the two largest generations in American history, the baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) and the millennials (born between 1979 and 1996), which today represent half of the total population."
Wednesday, December 07, 2011
AMERICAN URBANISM : THE SILENT REVOLUTION
Il y a quelques semaines, le New York Times publiait une enquête qui montrait que désormais plus de la moitié des pauvres américains vivent dans les suburbs - voir là.
Il y a quelques jours, le démontage du mythe de la banlieue comme lieu idéal de l'urbanisme américain se poursuivait - toujours dans le NYT - avec un passionnant article de l'urbaniste Christophe Leinberger, titré "The Death of the Fringe Suburb". Extrait ci-dessous.
Tout y est dit sur l'un des plus gros bouleversement urbain de ce début du XXI° siècle.