Are Americans Ready for a Lifestyle Change?

by on May 18, 2010 » Add the first comment.

One of our highest hopes for South Main is that it will serve as a model of what’s possible for future development. We’re looking to demonstrate the most sustainable model possible for new development in the west. The heinous effects of sprawl in the west and the alarming loss of cherished open space is certainly not news to most of us. So how do we stop it? On the development side, the obstacles are many to building a place like South Main. But these obstacle are unlikely to go away without a significant cultural shift and increased demand for urbanism. According to Robert Steuteville of the New Urban News, we may be on the verge of a shift away from suburbia as Americans’ preferred habitat.

By Robert Steuteville

To a remarkable degree, Americans have resisted giving up the suburban lifestyle. It’s okay to talk about hybrid and electric vehicles, wind farms, and even high-speed rail — all of which look cool and high-tech. But don’t touch the American lifestyle; that’s “nonnegotiable,” as the first President Bush said in 1992…

Now a new generation is coming of age, the massive cohort called “the Millennials,” children of Baby Boomers. For Millennials, the postwar boom and suburban Golden Era is ancient history. They feel little emotional attachment to the suburbs. They grew up there, and find suburban life boring. They love urban places — and they are poised to become the biggest force in the housing market in coming years…

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