An end to America's exurbia? For first time, city, urban growth outpaces that of outer suburbs

  • Article by: HOPE YEN , Associated Press
  • Updated: April 5, 2012 - 2:15 AM

WASHINGTON - Stung by high gasoline costs, outlying suburbs that sprouted in the heady 2000s are now seeing their growth fizzle to historic lows, halting American city dwellers' decades-long exodus to sprawling homes in distant towns.

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mugsdilApr. 5, 12 1:12 AM

From our perspective, a couple who grew up in Plymouth but moved to Nordeast Minneapolis, the 'burbs can't offer what we have here. Grocery stores are within walking and biking distance, job opportunities in the city don't require a long commute, and the diversity of restaurants and shops in our community is awesome. Why would we live way out in St. Michael when we are close to all the action here? This summer I'll be biking to Target Field to try to grab a cheap ticket. If it doesn't work out, no biggie. I'll just bike home and enjoy a nice evening outside.

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parker0910Apr. 5, 12 2:52 AM

It all depends on what your comfortable with. I moved 18 miles south of the 494 loop and am very happy with it. A small community, with low crime, good services and my house cost 100K less than similar homes in the cities.

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mrichardsonApr. 5, 12 2:59 AM

From the article - "It's going to take a while," he said, speaking of a local recovery that he acknowledges will never reach the same levels as last decade. "Our economy has got to get back to the point where people can confidently sign off on a 40-year mortgage." *Really?* Anyone who can do the math for interest payments on 40 year mortgages (even at today's historically low rates) knows that 40 year mortgages should be treated like the no-doc loans of the bubble.

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justsayinApr. 5, 12 5:51 AM

And yet our blind and misguided politicians (Klobuchar, Bachmann, Dayton) have decided we should spend $700,000,000 in tax money on a bridge to nowhere in the W WI burbs. A bridge very few in MN want and even fewer need. Money that could be spent creating jobs and fixing roads/bridges in so many more critical areas. Idiotic.

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gophfan10101Apr. 5, 12 5:51 AM

The first commentor asks "Why would we live way out in St. Michael when we are close to all the action here?" Well, some folks don't like all that action. Instead of riding to Target Field on their bike, they like to do some yard work, crack open a beer, and spend the evening relaxing around the bon fire with some friends while the kids run around the yard playing. It just all depends on what you like. If you like the action of the city, great. If you like the slower pace of the burbs, that's great too. Live where you want and be happy.

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no1caresApr. 5, 12 6:34 AM

Who wouldn't enjoy a hour (or more) commute in stop & go traffic at these high gas prices? All that time spent commuting just for the sake of living way out there, is it worth it? Then again, leaving crammed into a city block with your neighbors within spitting distance can have it draw backs as well. I have lived in S. Minneapolis for 16 years. Some days I would give almost anything to be away from it, but most days its pretty good and I'm pretty happy. Everybody has their comfort level, and I guess the exurbanite will have to struggle with theirs. FYI, there isn't a whole lot of room in these city lots for your boats, jet ski, snowmobiles, atv, the 8 or 9 cars that you own.... again, choices to be made.

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eastsider45Apr. 5, 12 6:40 AM

It's all about the mass transit to these areas. Stop wasting billions upon billions of dollars on military hardware and build elec powered rail systems nationwide. There used to be a railstop in virtually every town in this country at one time, I bet many young people don't know that. We need these communities or the cities are going to be overcrowded. But we need transportation options and flexible jobs.

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jcinmnApr. 5, 12 6:43 AM

ophfan10101 -" Instead of riding to Target Field on their bike, they like to do some yard work, crack open a beer, and spend the evening relaxing around the bon fire with some friends while the kids run around the yard playing." That's all well and good as long as you don't demand a North Star Commuter train subsidized by State and Federal dollars so you can get into the Twin Cities to earn you quality of life.

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ezekial2517Apr. 5, 12 7:20 AM

I grew up in one of these exurban communities. There are no good paying jobs and the public schools are terrible. I wouldn't put my kids at the disadvantage of being from one of these places.

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samiamApr. 5, 12 7:40 AM

I think it is way to early to start drawing conclusions. While I live in the city I have friends that live in the 'burbs and I see advantages and disadvantages to both.

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