While the baby boomers helped fortify the notion of the suburban single-family house as the American dream, the millennials are headed in another direction, according to Fortune writer Gallagher. The recession, rising fuel prices, and demographic shifts that mean smaller families and fewer and later marriages are contributing to a decline in the appeal of the suburbs. Gallagher talked to homebuilders, developers, planners, transportation engineers, architects, psychologists, and home buyers and sellers in cities and suburbs to offer a fascinating portrait of housing and lifestyle trends. She examines how the American dream came to be tied to the suburbs even as they are lambasted in popular culture and by social scientists and, lately, planners and engineers. New Urbanists argue that the suburb is an unsustainable model because the low-density population doesn’t generate enough tax base to support it, unless it sprawls. Gallagher points to research and analysis showing rising populations in urban areas and suburbs who adapt the ideals of green living and walkable communities. Fascinating reading on changing trends in how and where we live. --Vanessa Bush
“This book is a steel fist in a velvet glove. Beneath Leigh Gallagher's smooth, elegant prose there is a methodical smashing of the suburban paradigm. When all is done, a few shards remain—but only because she is scrupulously fair. This story of rise and ruin avoids the usual storm of statistics—nor is it a tale told with apocalyptic glee. The End of the Suburbs
is the most convincing book yet on the lifestyle changes coming to our immediate
future.”— Andres Duany, founding partner of Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company and co-author of Suburban Nation
“The book is loaded with fascinating detail wrapped in a vivid story Gallagher creates from behind the scenes of America’s greatest promotion: the suburbs.”—Meredith Whitney, author, Fate of the States: The New Geography of American Prosperity and founder, Meredith Whitney Advisory Group
“Leigh Gallagher asks all the right questions and comes up with surprising conclusions in this sweeping discussion of the future of the suburb. Spoiler alert - it's a bleak future for the burbs, but don't panic: Gallagher foretells a new world order where the conveniences of the urban lifestyle rewire our understanding of the American Dream. You'll never look at a cul-de-sac the same way again after you enjoy this book, which is simultaneously entertaining and informative, breezy and analytical.”—Spencer Rascoff, CEO, Zillow
“The End of the Suburbs
is a compelling, insightful must-read on what author Leigh Gallagher calls the ‘slow-burning revolution’ re-mapping the shape of America and its future. Her masterfully-argued case springs to life with both impressive research and empathetic portraits of those seduced and often betrayed by suburbia's promise of a more livable life. Now, where's my moving truck? Oh, right. Stuck in commuter traffic.”—Linda Keenan, author and resident of Suburgatory
“No one knows how American residential preferences will change in the 21st century. But Leigh Gallagher’s well-researched and provocative The End of the Suburbs makes a persuasive argument that is difficult to refute. Required reading for anyone interested in the future of the United States.”—Kenneth T. Jackson, professor of history, Columbia University and author of the prize-winning Crabgrass Frontier: The Suburbanization of the United States
“I couldn’t put this book down. My readers often ask me, ‘What will happen to suburbia once we’ve all right-sized our homes and communities?’ Leigh Gallagher provides the data that I’ve been looking for, and makes the powerful assertion that our suburbs are permanently changing, not because of the Great Recession, but because of new attitudes about where and how we want to live—which is great news, both for the near term, and for generations to come.”
—Sarah Susanka, the author of The Not So Big House
series, and The Not So Big Life: Making Room for What Really Matters
"The end of Suburbia is timely and important. We should hope it is prophetic, because Leigh Gallagher shows suburbs as we know them are unsafe for our species."
—Eric Klinenberg, Professor of Sociology at New York University and author of Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone
"Through compelling expert interviews, data and trends analysis, Leigh affirms the notion that we've hit 'peak burb.' This book presents a strong case for America's increasing preference for higher density lifestyles and the resulting trend to manage our lives via the information highway, not the paved kind!"
—Scott W. Griffith, former chairman and CEO, Zipcar
"Have you ever wondered whether the Great Recession will halt the process of gentrification in major American cities? Or what will happen to the empty suburban sprawl that is the result of the housing boom and bust? Or how most of us will live in a world where oil is expensive? Leigh Gallagher's crisp, entertaining, and fact-filled new book answers these questions and many more."
—Bethany McLean, coauthor, The Smartest Guys in the Room and All the Devils are Here: The Hidden History of the Financial Crisis