Tuesday, September 02, 2014

The world someone else wants

Joel Kotkin makes a point that should be obvious, but apparently isn't:
[C]urrent conventional wisdom embraces density, sky-high scrapers, vastly expanded mass transit and ever-smaller apartments. It reflects a desire to create an ideal locale for hipsters and older, sophisticated urban dwellers. It’s city as adult Disneyland or “entertainment machine,” chock-a-block with chic restaurants, shops and festivals.

Overlooked, or even disdained, is what most middle-class residents of the metropolis actually want: home ownership, rapid access to employment throughout the metropolitan area, good schools and “human scale” neighborhoods.

A vast majority of people — roughly 8o percent — prefer a single-family home, whether in the city or surrounding communities. And they may not get “creative” gigs at ad agencies or writers collectives, but look instead for decent-paying opportunities in fields such as construction, manufacturing or logistics. Over the past decade, these jobs have been declining rapidly in “luxury cities” like New York, Chicago and Los Angeles.
We're trying to build two luxury cities here, as both Minneapolis and St. Paul want to reinvent their downtowns and transform into such places. We're spending billions to do it, too. There's a lot more at the link and it's definitely worth your time.

2 comments:

R.A. Crankbait said...

The physical location of one's worksite is becoming less and less relevant as technology removes office walls, commuting and even time zones. So, if you can work wherever you choose, would you pick a place with a nice green vista (green spaces!) or a common-wall warren where you become intimately familiar with your neighbor's bathroom habits and tastes in music?

Mr. D said...

So, if you can work wherever you choose, would you pick a place with a nice green vista (green spaces!) or a common-wall warren where you become intimately familiar with your neighbor's bathroom habits and tastes in music?

I know what I'd pick.