When urban planners dream, they dream that Americans will give up on the suburbs in favor of a dense, environmentally friendly, less auto-dependent lifestyle. And it’s never going to happen, David Brooks writes in the New York Times. “Amsterdam is a wonderful city, but Americans never seem to want to live there.” According to a recent Pew study, cities are among the least popular places to live for Americans, who still yearn to sprawl outward.
Young people still find cities appealing—45% of 18- to 34-year-olds would like to live in New York City—but no one else does. The metro areas people most wanted to live in were Western places like Denver, Phoenix, or Seattle,“where you can imagine yourself with a stuffed garage, filled with skis, kayaks, soccer equipment, and boating equipment,” Brooks observes. It’s “the American Dream circa 2009.”