Bedroom Cities

My town of about 40K people is a bedroom community; it’s population shrinks by about a third each day as people head off to work in other parts of the Boston metro area. When the railroad into this town the commuting ran the other way – farm workers who lived in the urban center and came out on the train to work the fields.

Urban cores typically draw workers into them during the day. Boston’s population rises by 41% each day, more than most. A very few larges cities in the US shrink, anti-cities? Not a hubs of economic activity but instead of hubs of housing. In Virginia Beach the population shrinks by 12%, in Mesa City, AZ it shrinks by 10%. In San Jose, CA it shrinks by 6%, and in Long Beach, CA it drops 4%. Detroit manages to just break even. Washington DC grows by 72%; and Boston swells 41%.

I’m amused by the idea that San Jose and the surrounding area, silicon valley, might become the first inside out metro-donut. A dense vibrant urban residential core built in the vertical with a surrounded the flat 1-2 story industrial landscape, so popular in the valley.

Data from US Census by way of Infectious Greed.

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