There is a saying that ‘You either want to live in the city, or out of the city, but not in between.’ This dilemma between city, countryside, and suburbia is interesting to look at from a quality of life standpoint. Obviously, your priorities change with various seasons of life, and what is good for one season may not be suitable for another. But here are four benefits of each.
1. Convenient: Quick access to nearly everything thanks to the short distances between living, working, and recreational destinations.
2. Ideas: At the crossroads of people coming and going. Constantly stimulated with fresh ideas and perspectives and new relationships.
3. Quality of Life: Pedestrian friendly, biking, and public transit are a must for city living and, fortunately, most major cities are embracing these changes
4. Environmentally Friendly: City living has a much lower carbon footprint per person. It many instances it is 1/2 to 1/3 the footprint then national averages. (1)
1. Privacy: If you like privacy, living in the country works well — particularly if your home is situated in a remote area and you don’t have neighbors for miles.
2. Quiet: The countryside is generally quiet and peaceful — certainly not as contaminated with toxic pollutants as the city.
3. Room to Spread Out: In the country, you have more space. If you want to build on your home, you have the room to do it. If you want to construct a shed or a barn or an art studio, you have the room.
4. Outdoor Adventure: Step out your back door and you can be in or near a nature trail.
1. Schools: Suburban schools have a reputation for being better than their inner city counterparts.
2. Community: Living in a suburb community is generally more stable and more ‘neighborly’ and allows you to get to know your neighbors.
3. Cost: As a general rule, the overall cost of living tends to be less than that of inner city areas on average.
4. Safety: Crime rates in the suburbs are generally lower than in the city. There is also less traffic congestion, and more open spaces for public use
People are voting with their feet and, on average, are moving into the cities. This is creating ‘ghost towns’ in rural areas around the world and leading to greater demands on what cities provide. (2)
Today, 55% of the world’s population lives in urban areas, a proportion that is expected to increase to 68% by 2050. Projections show that urbanization, the gradual shift in residence of the human population from rural to urban areas, combined with the overall growth of the world’s population could add another 2.5 billion people to urban areas by 2050, with close to 90% of this increase taking place in Asia and Africa, according to a new United Nations data set launched. (3)
Cities are attempting to transform themselves to incorporate most of the benefits of suburbia and the countryside. This is done with green spaces, community spaces, and great infrastructure. By the migration patterns around the world, it seems that most people think they will be successful.