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Comments about ‘Childless cities’

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Published: Thursday, Aug. 1 2013 2:25 p.m. MDT

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2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Big cities are not made for kids and families. They are made for adults who need easy access to clubs, bars, resturants and other adults for their metrosexual entertainment. Kids don't fit well. Most affordable appartments don't even have a usable kitchen, and it's too expensive to eat all your meals out if you have kids.

I can see why people leave the cities when having kids is considered a priority (not an accident).

Res Novae
Ashburn, VA

When it comes to 1) cost of living and 2) having enough space to raise a family, cities simply can't compete with the 'burbs. I don't see how the 'childless city' trend will change unless those factors are mitigated.

Kalindra
Salt Lake City, Utah

The authors of the article should have done themselves a favor and studied sociology and history - they would have saved themselves an erroneous conclusion.

When families lived in cities, they lived in multi-generational homes - grandma and grandpa, mom and dad, the kids (sometimes great-grandparents). After WWII, the soldiers had money from fighting in the war, but no jobs. In an effort to get the money circulating and to create jobs, single-family homes were pushed as the American Dream Ideal. This is also where the idea of mom at home and the nuclear family came in. The popularity and inexpensiveness of automobiles made it possible to live in the suburbs and still visit extended family.

As long as the American Dream is based on the 1950's ideal, people won't move back into the cities.

spring street
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

What a horrible example of reasoning. The article completely contradict itself. If crimes rtes are so high and schools so bad then why has the price of housing risen so high that only childless couples and the well healed can live in them? I lived in New York City's Greenwich Village for several years not long ago. the price of housing throughout the city is high, that is true, however other cost of living are actually greatly reduced by living in a place with high urban density. I also notice the authors give no evidence that large cities are becoming childless which I find suspicious seeing as there were many families in the city and children abound. It is true people do make the more sustainable choice of having only two or three kids instead of the foolish six to eight that many in the suburbs want to burden our resources with but that is not bad thing.

Hutterite
American Fork, UT

Kids are like farming. It's a lifestyle choice that you really have to want to take on to do it successfully, you need some land to do it, and it doesn't work without a lot of government subsidy. Not having them can lead to a far better life for a lot of people, and they're making that choice. Our cities haven't been designed for families for decades, so we need more childless singles and couples to populate them.

lost in DC
West Jordan, UT

I fail to see the point of the article.

Kalindra,
prior to WWII and Rosie the Riveter, few women were in the work force, and it was extremely rare for a married women, especially ones with children, to be employed outside the home. I do not understand where you come up with the idea that mom wasn't at home prior to the suburbanization following WWWII.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

I used to go to NYC freequently on business, and when walking the streets in the mornings you would occacsionally see a kid or 2 being walked to school (this was the business district so other neighborhoods may be different). I kinda felt sorry for the few kids I saw. From the way they were dressed I'm sure they were from wealthy families, but still, where could they play? Could they go outside with their friends? Did they know any other kids? I saw people attempting to walk their dogs, a patch of grass around a street light was the only grass in sight and served as the dog walker's pit-stop. Central Park provides an oasis, but the situation in the urban canyons was pretty bleak for kids.

Inner-cities are not a good environment for kids. It's GREAT For adults, but not so much for kids.

Baron Scarpia
Logan, UT

@ Kalindra

Don't forget that it was the GI Bill that gave WWII veterans an education so that our greatest generation could have a chance at comfortable middle class life with homes in the suburbs.

In our era of hating government, history provides some lessons on how good government programs can create wealth and opportunity for the little guys!

Kalindra
Salt Lake City, Utah

@ lost in DC: Women in poverty have always worked. But yes, you are correct - many middle-class women stayed home with their children, once they were married and had them. However, Rosie the Riveter changed that and effort had to be made to get women back in the home.

Additionally, if the family owned a business in the city, the wife usually worked alongside her husband while the grandparents watched the kids.

@ 2bits: Stickball in the street. Very common. And you must have missed all the parks in NYC while you were there.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Kalindra
Didn't see any stick ball in all the time I spent in Manhattan. They would have got squashed in the area I was in (Midtown and Lower Manhattan). I didn't make it to Queens or the Bronks (but I consider those to be suburbs). I assume things are quite different there. . I did see some parks. Some were pretty small (5 people could fit in them). Some were awsome, but not many kids compared to the number of adults.

lost in DC
West Jordan, UT

Kalindra,
thank you for the clarification

Kalindra
Salt Lake City, Utah

@ 2bits: There are more than 1 billion children attending 1,700 public schools in NYC (NYC encompasses Manhattan, The Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, and Staten Island - you may consider them suburbs, but by definition they are NYC). The population in NYC is just over 8 million - meaning approximately 1/8 of the NYC population is school age children - add in the number of kids too young to attend school or those who attend private schools, and the number is higher.

That may not be a vast number of children, but it is more than a few.

And when you add in two parents and one or two sets of grandparents, as much as 3/4 of NYC's population is family or extended family. That doesn't really sound like it is being abandoned.

Yes, as the authors of the original article state, there is a place in NYC for single individuals. But taking the few quotes that point this out and claiming they represent everyone is poor scholarship.

George
New York, NY

Try walking the few blocks to soho or noho, maybe take a Hirt subway ride the the village, Chelsea, midtown, go up to Harlem there are. Many kids if you actually go to where the housing is .

People miss so much that New York has to offer by staying in the business district and tourist traps. Come spend some time at one of the parks in the village or go sit at one of the many outside eating establishments in any of the neighborhoods or just go for a walk up
Through the neighborhoods listed above. Spend some time in the real New York it is well worth the time.

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