Suburbs down, Main Street up

This article provides more data on the fast-shifting but likely permanent change in how we decide where we want to live. We are probably seeing the biggest shift in housing since the end of World War II and the rise of the suburb. Suburbs are not going away overnight, but the cost of commuting to and from often rural subdivisions has caused sharp drops in the value of homes in such locations, and there will be a counterbalancing increase in the value of homes closer to work and shopping--welcome back, downtown neighborhoods.

Smart communities will aggressively begin rehabilitation of neglected older neighborhoods--street and sidewalk repairs, park improvements, fiber to the home--as this will help draw workers and families that want to reduce or even eliminate commuting costs. It also suggests a tremendous opportunity to finally bring back Main Streets, which have been struggling since the sixties as commerce moved out to the edge of town.

The "new" Main Street will be focused primarily on business and professional companies and food/entertainment--things to do after work and places to eat for business professionals. Class A office space on Main street and Main Street business incubators will draw businesses looking for "quality of business life," where walking to work, walking to lunch, and easy access to professional services (copy services, banking, accounting, legal) are all within a few steps of the office.

And as always, downtown fiber will make this work.