In a recent post for the Urban Phoenix, blogger Arian Horbovetz wrote about how the impermanence and flexibility of urban centers are drawing more residents, especially millennials. He says young Americans are seeking out apartments, shared public spaces, food trucks, and mobile tech over homes in the suburbs, traditional restaurants, and office jobs.

What does the data say about the so-called city vs. suburb horse race? A Brookings Institute report shows a trend toward a renewed suburban advantage. But that data is nuanced and there are questions and issues to consider like total population growth vs. urban growth booms within cities, zoning laws, and more.

So, do Americans want to live in cities? Our guests weigh in:

When we talk about urbanism, we often discuss walkability and connected neighborhoods. That movement is not just happening here in the United States; efforts toward developing complete streets are underway in some of the oldest and some of the most congested cities around the world. 

This hour, we talk to two international travelers who share what they've learned by studying urbanism, mobility, and tourism in cities across the globe. In studio:

Has urbanism become too mean? That's exactly what some local urbanists feel, and they're looking for ways to improve their tactics. Mocking someone for driving a car? Lampooning golfers? Is that effective?

Our guests debate what works and what doesn’t:

  • David Riley, urbanist and former newspaper reporter
  • Marlana Zink, Rochester resident with a background in planning
  • Jason Partyka, member of Reconnect Rochester
  • Phil Kehres, urban planner in Vancouver, Canada

What can Rochester learn from a city like Birmingham, Michigan? The city – just north of Detroit – has been hailed for completely implementing a plan called New Urbanism. The plan led to the building up of Birmingham’s downtown, higher commercial rent and land values, “complete streets,” and one of the most walkable cities in America.

Birmingham’s commissioner is an urbanist, an architect, and the city’s former mayor. We talk to him about the revitalization of his city, and what he thinks can be applied in Rochester. In studio: