Thursday, August 21, 2008

Is there still growth in the exurbs?

   Will high gas prices and tight credit stifle the exurbs?  Many stories so assert, of course.  But this may not be the complete picture.  NPR today ran a nice segment (including some quotes from Penn’s urban commentator Witold Rybczynski) about Chester County, Pa., with anecdotes about how a seemingly Penn exurban county may continue to grow.  There’s the two-income couple that commutes in different directions –- one to Philadelphia and the other to Baltimore –- for whom Chester County makes economic sense.  There are businesses for which settling in Chester County is a good “regional” choice.  And there’s a plan for a putatively new-urbanist-tinged “town center” in Malvern that is designed to draw businesses, retail, and residences, all in proximity to each other.  For some, life in a planned new exurban town may –- like a 19th century small town –- make more sense than life in an old-fashioned big city.
  Why might a corporate-planned town sometimes be attractive than a “real” one? Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post.

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