The above clip from Friends (repeated every New Year's Day!) highlights the preference for young families to fly to the suburbs to raise children. Clearly, whether perceived or a fact, the suburbs are identified as a much preferred place to raise families. Suburban flight is a key concern of anti-sprawl and high-density advocates. And, surely sustainable, stable and vibrant cities should include families. But, how can we ensure thousands of families remain and can be attracted to the city?
Urbanist Brent Toderian as Chief planner of Vancouver from 2006-2012 helped successfully design parts of the urban landscape specifically for families . His remedies include (1) ensuring family-sized housing, (2) ensuring daycare, schools and supports and (3) designing the public realm for kids. For more, on Brent Toderians successful mix on keeping families downtown read this piece by David Roberts available here