Folks living in traditional suburban commuter towns want change. They are tired of sprawl, traffic and unsightly strip malls fronted by huge parking lots. Instead, they want vibrant neighborhoods where people walk to shops and go out in the evenings.
This new trend – called urbanization — is catching on in many suburbs around the country. The Wall Street Journal ran a spread in its January 18-19, 2014 weekend issue on development of a half-dozen mixed-use projects underway to transform Tysons Corner, VA, into walkable neighborhoods where people live, play and work.
Commute? Not as much.
Suburbs have traditionally avoided mixing office buildings with apartments, restaurants and shops. But this is all changing. “The suburbs are changing because the world is changing,” Ed McMahon, a senior fellow at the Urban Land Institute told the WSJ.
Tysons new master plan aims to increase residential population from 17,000 today to 100,000 residents by 2050. Currently, the highways around Tysons Corner are at capacity. Five times as many people work in Tysons as live there.