The numbers clearly show that American cities are experiencing a renaissance as more millennials choose to remain in an urban setting instead of flocking to the suburbs like their grandparents did. But there’s a growing trend that says the key to creating a flourishing urban environment is bringing together high-tech businesses that can jump start a sluggish economic recovery with a place, and spaces, for people to live and play.
Detroit’s woes are well known — abandoned properties, an exodus from downtown, failed manufacturing industry. However, there are signs of life in the Motor City.
Coding for the Future: Casting Off Outdated Regulations, Cities Reinvent Zoning for a Changing Marketplace
Many cities have discovered that their graying zoning codes are an impediment to capitalizing on urban energy. For the first time in decades, they are adopting new methods of shaping development that encourage mixing, rather than separating, uses and that sacrifice less urban space to the automobile.
The walkable urbanism movement is driving development in many parts of the country, producing premium profits for developers who saw its potential early. Drivable suburbs dominated development patterns in this country for the last half of the 20th century, sprawling out into the countryside around major cities. Now even suburbs are embracing walkable development of their town centers.
Today's streetcars are very different from those of the early 20th century — and not just because they’re air-conditioned and wheelchair-accessible.
Communities get more mileage — i.e. tax production per acre — from development in their more dense urban centers than development in their less dense suburban fringes because the land there is more highly utilized and highly valued.