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July 21, 2008

Richard Florida

Rise of the Cosmoburb

« NY State of MInd | Main | The End of White Flight »

Robert Lang in the Next American City (via Planetizen):

"Cosmoburbs” is the term used in the forthcoming book “Boomburbs: The Rise of America’s Accidental Cities” to describe wealthy suburbs that are also diverse and that increasingly contain non-traditional households. Leading examples around the nation include Naperville, Ill., Plano, Texas, Bellevue, Wash., and Lakewood and Aurora in Colorado ...

In many respects, the Cosmoburb may be the coming America where race is part of the ambiance. Ethnic restaurants and shops with exotic goods draw people into these communities. In such places, it does not matter what race the neighbor is - as long as the lawn is mowed.

The new Cosmoburbs will be part of a global economy. For planners this means that suburbs should not be thought of as merely bedroom communities, but as new economic hubs for an increasingly “brain"-oriented economy .... Suburbs today don’t have less sophisticated economies than cities but are equal to central cities. This shift will require not only new thinking about design, transit and infrastructure in the suburbs, but also new thinking about how the suburbs can truly accommodate singles, seniors, the foreign-born and people of every color.


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I am moving from the urban core (Capitol Hill/Eastern Market 'hood in DC) to a 'cosmo burb' (Bethesda, MD) next week.... yes, Btwon has every kind of food available and we have tons of immigrants and scientists (at NIH) living/working there among all the other commercial activities.. also lots of young singles (under 35) who got out to the bars/restaurants in Bethesda. I'll let you know how it works out.

Gotta go mow my lawn!


It's true that certain suburbs are very diverse and have many creative class types living in them, after all, Silicon valley is entirely in the suburbs. If you visit the suburban area of Fremont, which is in Silicon Valley's outback, you will find tremendous diversity behind the manicured lawns and middle america style neighbourhoods. If you visit the Trader Joes, or any of the malls, for example, you will see east Asians, Middle Eastern people and Southeast Asians, wearing robes of every type, in addition to the usual California mix of Anglo, African American, and Hispanic. "Cosmoburbs" are a key part of the Bay Area's success.

Barkley Rosser

Fairfax, Virginia, where you used to hang out, Richard, obviously should be on this list.

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