The Future of Cities and SuburbsJoel Kotkin, author and Distinguished Presidential Fellow in Urban Futures withChapman University, has been analyzing the future socioeconomic growth of theUnited States.Kotkin’s book, The Next Hundred Million: America in 2050, takes an interestinglook at how U.S. cities may evolve over the next forty years. Kotkin describes ongoing efforts to revitalize areas in cities that fell into disuse due to the creation of retail shopping malls. One success story is Fullerton, CA., where the historic downtown district has been restored, and now draws city residents and people from the surrounding areas to this social and cultural center.
Lifestyle Centers Another change Kotkin sees in the next forty years is the migration away from major cities to suburban areas of the country. Another future for the suburbs has been the creation of “lifestyle centers.” LA-based developer, Rick Caruso who has revamped existing shopping malls into areas that allow more social interaction; there are sidewalk cafés, and lots of open spaces for people to walk, sit as well as retailers that are unique to the area versus “big box store” generic retailers. One of Caruso’s development efforts is in Calabasas, CA., where he has taken the Commons area and “designed [it] to perform the civic functions of a traditional Main Street. . .” Parking is underground to allow more of an old feel to this new Development (Kotkin p. 98). Calabasas, CA
Suburbs and Cultural DiversityUnlike the suburbs of the past, Kotkin sees America’s future suburbs a the epitome of American diversity (Kotkin p. 65).San Gabriel, CA., is an excellent example of a suburban area that will continue tobecome more culturally diverse, as a sampling of restaurants above suggests.