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Their lack of outdoor space and high density living is clearly making them less desirable. City life has major downsides for families, plus the general noise and crime problems. With both parents working in most young families, schools are the most critical item.

A walkable community is not always about the city. However, it contains open space that is maintained by an HOA, stores and offices that you can walk to. Our suburb turned down one of these developments as too congested, which is a real shame, as you could have gotten a single family home, townhouse or condo, as well as being walk to train for the city commute. And it had a ton of open space with walking trails, dog park, etc. Here's an article from 2011 from a town center being proposed in WI, quite a ways from us:

But this is where city officials hope to see a bit of urban development in the form of multistory apartment buildings with street-level commercial space - largely unheard of in Mequon. They say the project would help create a "town center," while also generating property taxes to help pay down a city debt tied to the development site.

"This is a significant step forward in urbanizing a small portion of a suburban community," said Mayor Curt Gielow. "It puts some vibrancy in the area to attract some other things."

And here's an article about Vail:

Trends: Homeowners look for walkability, fewer square feet in new mountain market
KIM MARQUIS | Thu., June 27, 2013 @ 2:18 pm
VAIL—If recent findings about new housing demand after the national recession are correct, homeowners in the mountain West will look for a different kind of living situation, one that closer resembles city living than the quintessential cabin in the woods.

Homes will be smaller, attached or placed very close together, and definitely within walking distance to shops and restaurants. What happened to the desire to own a cabin in the woods? For one thing, whether they are truly cabins or McMansions sitting on 40 acres miles from the closest town, rural sprawl has never been eco-friendly.

Lots of other examples on line, but one thing is clear is that people want the city convenience no matter where it's located. Not a regional trend.

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