The Role of Suburbs in Urban America

Sep 22, 2020

The way Americans see the suburbs can be almost as different as each person’s version of the American Dream. For many, the suburbs have been a mixed memory, and one that they strove to outgrow as the intense interaction of career and society that we find in the world’s great cities such as Atlanta became not only a necessity, but also a desirable style and pace. 

For others, the single-family homes of the suburbs are still an alluring goal. Early careers in the hustle-bustle make space and foliage a kind of oasis in the mind, restoring a person’s energy at the very thought of suburban life, forming an irresistible destination, and one for which it is worth striving.

In most American lives, the idea of living in luxury homes in the suburbs takes on a different value in different chapters of life. A typical arch might be to relish the vitality of urban life in one’s early career, realizing all the while that rearing a family will probably prove easier in the suburbs when that stage of life arises. Setting up a suburban household when children join the family seems, in this version, to be a natural, almost inevitable evolution. In later years, when the nest is empty, the 21st century sees a growing number of couples and individuals returning to the city to re-engage with the excitement, entertainment, and culture they recall so fondly from that earlier time in their lives.

A Different Answer for Today

Communities such as Avondale Estates embody a different answer, and one that transcends the seeming necessity of relocating one’s life by chapter. The city-suburb choice, or yearning for someplace different, or the path of migrating from one to the other, is increasingly being answered with, “none of the above.” The answer of Avondale Estates is to consciously build in the best of both worlds.

A classic home on its own grounds, and with the most modern conveniences, the nearness of Nature, a walking neighborhood for shopping with a small-town vibe and yet ultimate urban sophistication – and add to these the proximity and accessibility of one of the world’s great cities, with an undeniable future – this is the answer that increasingly transcends the city-suburb debate today. Few, if any, communities embody this transcendent answer better than Avondale Estates.

A Global Perspective

Because our economy and careers are engaged increasingly in an economy that spans the world, it is wise to evaluate possibilities like this from a global perspective, too.

A decade or more of urban migration led to a widespread impression that the whole world was going urban. Cities swell on every continent and the means of making a living in a digital society and a global economy draw millions to the cities of the world. Interestingly, in America, those data were never quite conclusive. Here, the suburbs retained their magnetism to a greater extent than elsewhere in the world. Surely, American economic advantages, and our individual means of transportation, made the options broader than elsewhere.

While these American desires and motivations persist, considering the sustainability of them has to play a role in long-term planning. And so, the global perspective adds to wisdom of considering the new “urban suburb,” where the advantages of both city and suburb are combined.

Avondale East offers these answers for the future today, and we can be your guide to evaluating them in light of your own goals, whether for living or investment. Engel & Völkers is known as the Atlanta leader in the sale of residential real estate and new developments. Just call us at 404-845-7724 or find out more at