The New Generational Shift: Suburban Flight

After 50 years of sprawl, suburbanites gravitate toward cities
By Clay Dillow,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 17, 2008 3:53 PM CDT
Inefficient and far-flung McMansion's, like this Los Angeles home, are growing cumbersome to those who are tired of the commutes, the fuel prices and the large carbon footprints.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Changes in lifestyles, economic conditions, and demographics are leading to a reversal in urban flight, The Wall Street Journal reports. Four-dollar-a-gallon gasoline and the subprime crisis have driven many to cities from suburbs, where commutes are longer and houses have lost the most value. Boomers are simplifying their lives with urban condos, while millennials seek to abandon their cul-de-sac upbringings. 

Many are settling around light rail lines, challenging cities to improve public transit service. Transportation is the biggest household expense after housing, so the shift makes sense for 20-somethings and 60-somethings alike. "They are at a stage where they both want the same thing," said a housing consultant. "You've got a recipe for reurbanization on a dramatic scale."