Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Urban Hellholes For All

I've read a lot of interesting discussion of this article about the kids today wanting to live in cities. I don't have any opinion about whether this is a real trend, but I did find two basic threads of the discussion to be interesting. One was that "of course young people want to live in cities." Well, when I was coming of age and making such choices, most cities really were urban hellholes, with very high crime rates, and the ones that weren't were sinking under the weight of the recession and its aftermath. Don't think my peer group at the time was necessarily representative of the population as a whole, but "moving to the city" actually wasn't what people wanted. Getting married fairly young and buying a house in the burbs was.

The other thread is the "people want to live in cities until they have kids then it's too hard." I get that quality of local schools is a genuine issue, but otherwise I'm rather confused by the "can't raise 2 kids without a minivan in the suburbs" attitude I see from lots of people. People can and do raise kids in the city and manage just fine. Really not sure what the difficulties are.