Rob from GPB wanted me to say something about the death of the suburbs, and I did. And I delicately touch on this in the column regularly (there is no delicate way to say it). And now, enter the Washington Post.
As housing prices have plummeted and credit has shriveled, more residents of the District and Washington’s inner suburban counties have chosen to stay put, all but ending the steady exodus to the region’s less expensive, outer suburbs that characterized most of this decade, according to Census Bureau estimates released today.
“I looked at these numbers and said, ‘Wow!’ ” said William H. Frey, a demographer from the Brookings Institution who analyzed the figures. “This is a more drastic change in U.S. migration patterns than we’ve seen in a long time, and I don’t think we’ve seen the end of it.”
Indeed not, Mr. Frey. I’ll venture to say it will increasingly become much less of a novel comment to say that suburbs/exurbs are dying and have no future. There was a great euphemism in an LAT article recently: phased abandonment. It’s good that we’ll get beyond this polite boundary and get to what comes next. What comes next for these locales remains to be determined, but probably will have much to do with quiet and farming, and sometimes both, together.