Suburban Retrofit


Suburban Retrofits the New Norm

Few if any development patterns have fully escaped the 2008 real-estate bubble burst. Residential foreclosures and Commercial vacancies are now a part of the new norm in the suburbs of 2012. As the economy gains a new footing what will become of the distressed properties in the Suburbs? In a February 21, 2012 article by Greg Logan, Managing Director of RCLCO he describes the emerging demand for housing. His article points out that the aging Baby Boomers born between 1946-1964 now represents approximately 80 of the 305 million citizens in the United States (26%). Many of the baby Boom generation now have decreased physical and fiscal mobility.

How will we need to retrofit the suburbs to accommodate those aging in place?

In the Atlanta region the Baby Boomers represent the largest growing segment of our population. Nationally, a larger segment of the population is generation Y born in the years 1981-1999 and has reached 85 million or 28% of the citizens in theUnited States. Many of those in Generation Y currently have an increased need for mobility, affordability, jobs and place’s where they can find a date.

How are the suburbs evolving to meet the needs of Generation Y?

The natural next step for many in generation Y will be to form new families. In some ways our Suburbs are ready to accommodate the needs of young mobile family’s with perceived access to nature, trails, affordability, security and good schools. Yet with rising fuel cost and changing values, many in generation Y will reject and auto dependant life style found in several of our suburban communities.

What changes to our suburbs will need to occur to attract a new generation of young families?

As the market evaluates the alternatives to the distressed properties in the suburbs new opportunities will emerge to meet the new demand. At CNU Atlanta we believe part of the solution comes in how we interject walkable, bicycle friendly and transit ready form, from small mixed use villages to urban edge cities and multi modal transit corridors into the suburbs.

Get involved in the CNU Atlanta to learn more about successful suburban retrofits in our community. Atlanta is transforming for the land of Sprawl to the landof Retrofits. Join your local CNU chapter today. To learn more about our Suburban Retrofit cause contact William J. de St. Aubin, AIA, LEED AP Principal/ Architect/ Town Planner



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