Thursday, March 24, 2005

Why Parents Really Leave the City

Well, no sooner does The Yellow Line write about the challenges of having a child in the city than does the New York Times publish this article. Yep, The Yellow Line is already driving the national debate.

The article is about how few children live in the modern urban centers of big cities. Among this story’s brilliant observations:

Officials say that the very things that attract people who revitalize a city dense vertical housing, fashionable restaurants and shops and mass transit that makes a car unnecessary - are driving out children by making the neighborhoods too expensive for young families.

And also:

After interviewing 300 parents who had left the city, researchers at Portland State found that high housing costs and a desire for space were the top reasons.

It took an interview of 300 people to uncover that wisdom? The article makes it sound like price and space are the only reasons parents leave the city—and that city officials are doing all they can to lure them back. Well, maybe city officials want the kids, but the big unspoken truth--not even mentioned by The Times--is that a lot of people don’t want kids in their urban areas.

As an urban parent, I can testify that a lot of my “neighbors” get very irritable at the sight of a baby. I think they see it as ruining their gritty urban ambiance. You know, those cool urban features like Starbucks. And The Gap.

Or maybe it’s just that my stroller clashes with their Prada shoes.

These big urban areas really need to take a good look inside and realize a lot of their affluent, childless residents simply do not want children running around their neighborhoods. As a parent, why go through the price and space hassles if, at the end of the day, you’re just not all that welcome?


Post a Comment

<< Home