Donald W. Reynolds National Center For Business Journalism

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When cities and suburbs blend together

October 7, 2014

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We know that young people are flocking to cities. Now, they’re being followed by their parents, and other suburbanites. How will that change urban life?

Urbanologists and sociologists call this “the great inversion,” where suburbs suffer as cities gain new residents. A new study of this trend in Canada shows that people who move from suburbs to cities want to continue their lifestyles, even though their surroundings are much different.

Author Richard Florida looked at the study, by Markus Moos of the University of Waterloo and Pablo Mendez of Carleton University, in a story for CityLab, the urban affairs website run by The Atlantic Monthly.

Wrote Florida, “As the rich move back to cities, they take their preferences for and abilities to purchase larger home or condos and private cars.” That might cause some economic disruption in places where city residents can’t afford big apartments, private homes and most of all, parking.

“As the Great Inversion continues, city leaders, urbanists and all of us will find ourselves confronting these new realities of geography and class, as the distinctions between “cities” or “suburbs” continue to evolve and change,” he writes.

Read Florida’s story here.

Are you seeing your city become more suburban? How are people reacting to the shift?

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