/ Americas

Exploring the Urban Neighborhood Evolution

The ULI Terwilliger Center for Housing partnered with ULI Sustaining Member RCLCO Real Estate Advisors to explore the evolution of urban neighborhoods in a new publication titled The New Geography of Urban Neighborhoods, adding to the member-informed research published regularly by the Center to demonstrate the key role that housing plays in creating thriving communities. The report shows that the population of urban neighborhoods in many areas is growing as quickly or nearly as quickly as that of suburban neighborhoods, reflecting ongoing consumer demand—particularly among younger households—for living environments that are convenient to jobs, transit, and urban amenities, and which are highly walkable.

The New Geography of Urban Neighborhoods examines how this growth has accompanied the evolution of different types of urban neighborhoods, and how demographic and economic trends have shaped development in these areas.  

“Our cities are evolving into places that are more diverse and more interesting than ever, with a mix of neighborhoods defined by distinct characteristics that are drawing different residents and workers for different reasons,” said Terwilliger Center Founder and Chairman, former ULI Global Chairman, and ULI Governing Trustee J. Ronald Terwilliger. “There are very few urban areas in which housing is not mixed in or very close to commercial uses. This has significant implications for development going forward—particularly affordable housing—in terms of building cities that are livable and attainable to people in a broad income range.” 

Key findings from the report include: 

– Currently, more than 29 million Americans live in urban neighborhoods. 
Upscale urban places are among the most racially and ethnically diverse types of neighborhoods. 
Nearly one-third of urban households are headed by millennials. 
– Rental apartment development is now concentrated in urban locations. 
Urban neighborhoods continue to face greater housing affordability issues than suburban neighborhoods. 
About 50 percent of people who live in urban areas commute by transit, walking, biking, or carpooling, compared with 22 percent in the suburbs.  

The New Geography of Urban Neighborhoods builds on a similar analysis of suburban neighborhoods conducted by RCLCO for the Terwilliger Center in 2016. RCLCO also developed an interactive atlas of urban and suburban neighborhoods in U.S. metro areas, based on the key factors that define their housing markets. 

Give to the Annual Fund to support ULI’s research on housing and other issues.  

Find The New Geography of Urban Neighborhoods and other ULI research in Knowledge Finder. 

Find housing experts in the Member Directory.

  • “Our cities are evolving into places that are more diverse and more interesting than ever, with a mix of neighborhoods defined by distinct characteristics that are drawing different residents and workers for different reasons.”

    – ULI Terwilliger Center Founder and Chairman J. Ronald Terwilliger

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