Our perception of the American Dream is changing – for the first time in almost a century, suburban growth is declining while millenials and baby boomers are choosing an urban lifestyle. This transformation is an issue that Leigh Gallagher explains thoroughly in her new book, The End of the Suburbs: Where the American Dream is Moving. While there’s a lot to be said for the space and privacy the suburbs offer, the US census shows that post-recession Americans are no longer flocking to the suburbs when they’re looking for a new home. Convenience and walkability are winning out over long commutes, tree-lined streets, and white picket fences. Out of this new trend has grown the concept of New Urbanism.
Demand for suburban construction is slowing while cities focus on urban development. While not all Americans are moving into urban areas, the features they look for in a suburban home are changing – accessibility is beating out isolation as the most important factor. Developers are no longer stressing large homes, lawns, and car-centric communities; instead, New Urbanism focuses on mixed-use neighborhoods that are pedestrian and transit friendly, offer accessible public spaces, and support a diverse population.
Here are some qualities that define New-Urbanism neighborhoods: