Bad for older people.
The Wall Street Journal is talking sense here…
That sense of urgency is understandable. The nation’s sprawling suburbs—home to as much as half of the U.S. population and more than 30 million people age 55-plus—may have been a good place to grow up. But the suburbs are proving a tough place to grow old.
Indeed, as the country ages, suburbia’s widely assumed benefits—privacy, elbow room, affordability—tend to vanish. Maintaining yards and homes requires more effort; driving everywhere, and for everything, becomes expensive and, eventually, impossible. (Research shows that men and women who reach their 70s, on average, outlive their ability to drive by six and 10 years, respectively.)
Suburbs are creatures of the car. To the extent that older people are forced to depend on cars for transportation, their mobility and independence are at risk.
Suddenly, “all that privacy that drew people to the suburbs in the first place can become isolation,” says Ellen Dunham-Jones, associate professor of architecture and urban design at Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta.
One answer, of course, is to leave. Active-adult communities and assisted-living facilities exist to mitigate some of the drawbacks of growing old on a cul-de-sac. That said, the vast majority of older adults don’t want to move. Fully 85% of surveyed individuals age 50-plus told AARP, the Washington-based advocacy group, that they wish to remain in their communities for as long as possible. And those communities, invariably, want the same thing: a strong mix of ages, interests and abilities among residents.
The Whole Article is Excellent.