Americans shifting from suburbs to cities

July 17, 2009 8:13:01 AM PDT
A decade-long trend of Americans moving to suburbia is reversing. Many U.S. cities are now growing in population more quickly than the rest of the nation. The reasons for the change are the housing crisis, along with higher gas prices, which are making it harder for people to move around.

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America's rush to suburbia is slowing down as people clamor to get addresses downtown. Many of the biggest U.S. cities are growing in population.

"If you look at thousands of years of human history you have the streets, the blocks, people living close together, they are living in that apartments above stores, that even goes back to Roman Empire," said John Norquist, Congress of New Urbanism.

More Americans are thinking with their feet. They want to live in places where virtually everything they need for daily existence is within walking distance.

On average, property values located in or near a downtown tend to do better than the suburbs.

"All the ingredients of the city spread out over the landscape, that was weird that was not normal and now what we see is a return to the normal we had before," said Norquist.

The Web site www.Walkscore.com ranks San Francisco, Boston and New York as the best cities for walking; the worst are Las Vegas and Oklahoma City. You can find out your own home's walk-ability simply by putting in your address on the Web site.

Walkscore lists multiple advantages from losing weight, because you walk more, to spending less money on gas or a car, because you may not need to own one.

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