“A new image of urban America is in the making,” HuffPo quotes William H. Frey, a demographer at Brookings who co-wrote the report, as saying. “What used to be white flight to the suburbs is turning into ‘bright flight’ to cities that have become magnets for aspiring young adults who see access to knowledge-based jobs, public transportation and a new city ambiance as an attraction.”
And recently, it has started to become the norm, not just a trend amongst young.
Big cities surpassed the rate of growth of their surrounding suburbs at an even faster clip, a sign of America's continuing preference for urban living after the economic downturn quelled enthusiasm for less-crowded expanses.
And, the trend lines up with the younger crowd driving & buying cars less.
The Times notes that less than half of potential drivers age 19 or younger had a license in 2008, down from nearly two-thirds in 1998. The fraction of 20-to-24-year-olds with a license has also dropped. And according to CNW research, adults between the ages of 21 and 34 buy just 27 percent of all new vehicles sold in America, a far cry from the peak of 38 percent in 1985.
Second, nowhere in the article does he mention New York. He is an urban planner from New York, yes, but he was specifically talking about the tech companies in the Bay Area bussing employees from the city to the suburbs. He's not pushing anything for New York. He's an urban planner talking about planning in an urban area other than the one he is in.
I believe he's saying, "If you're bussing your employees from the city to the suburbs, why not put the company in the city?"
If people would RTFA:
"Members of the current generation of in-demand workers wants to live in a city like San Francisco. They prefer an urban lifestyle to a suburban one. They want to be able to walk to grocery stores, restaurants, theaters, etc. They prefer traveling to work using collective transportation, rather than driving -- perhaps, in part, because they can be productive on the way."
Because, if what everyone is saying is so true ("Why be in an urban hell?"), then why are there so many buses heading *from* places like SF to the 'burbs? Clearly the employees like the amenities that the urban areas provide, otherwise they wouldn't live there, and there wouldn't be enough employees to justify a separate bus system to move them to the suburban campuses, no?
And this is exactly what Twitter just did (got a sweet deal in The Mission, not exactly a wonderful area before), but that's created a whole host of other problems. However, rents have shot up, so what he's proposing is working there. Apartments are now fetching $2000/month+ rent in what was a cheap area. These companies have power, and when they bring that power, other businesses follow. And the point of the article is: if the employees recognize this and are living in the cities, why aren't the businesses going there?
I have a theory that it's impossible to prove anything, but I can't prove it.