by Sam Hieb
Interesting Winston-Salem Journal article on U.S. Census Bureau numbers showing North Carolina’s suburban counties are growing more rapidly than urban counties. That flies in the face of the trend toward new urbanism promoted by many local governments, where everyone walks, rides their bikes or utilizes public transportation.
With that in mind, here’s the key point from UNCG geography professor Keith Debbage:
Debbage doesn’t think the new numbers spell a pause or plateau in the trend of central city new urbanism, as exemplified by downtown Winston-Salem.
“The American economy is capable of handling multiple growth trajectories,” Debbage said. “When you look at middle management and middle-aged people, a lot of that is powering the suburban growth. The millennials are still seeking out those urban core counties.
I realize millennials represent a key demographic shift, but I still maintain that as they age, the urge will be to settle down with some space between their neighbors and to maintain their mobility with the automobile.