The urban form has shifted throughout history. This has been critical to its success. Today we are on the cusp of another transition, ushered in by new technologies and changing demographics, and accelerated by a devastating pandemic. Although these forces affect all geographies, the best chance of success and growth lies in what we define as The Next American City.
This newly released report from Urban Reform Institute examines the places that offer opportunity for a revitalized American Dream for more citizens. The introduction is excerpted below:
Can cities withstand the social, economic, and migratory challenges they face today, or will a new model prove to be the answer for Americans seeking better opportunities for their families? Cities will continue to thrive, but they seem politically and economically not well-suited for middle- and working-class families of all races.
The Next American City offers an answer to the problem plaguing those living in and around major cities. Offering a combination of affordability, amenities, and proximity to the large cities, but without the burdensome, heavy-handed regulations of local government or many of the social ills running rampant in our cities, these places – like the Woodlands and Bridgeland – are quickly shaping up to be the urban destinations of the future.
The locale of places of opportunity for new citizens and minorities have changed. The pandemic has led to people seeking more space which has driven the cost of housing. Couple that with the issues of crime, blight, cost of living, and standard of living in our large cities, it’s no surprise that the urban cores are beginning to dwindle and that homeownership rates in the suburbs far outpace that of the cities.
These Next American Cities provide opportunities that many families thought were long gone.
America needs a revitalization of what was the American Dream. The desires remain the same, opportunity, affordability, and safety. What we need are more communities that address that aspiration.
After visiting burgeoning communities across the country, interviewing industry experts and residents, and looking at data, we came up with the Next American City concept. Places that offer everything, and more, that our major cities do, but minimize the downsides. As Americans continue to seek out new, affordable, safe alternatives to the status quo, New American Cities could become centers of growth — if they do not fall prey to the policies and politics that have driven people away from urban cores.
CEO of Urban Reform Institute