July 17, 2007 Baby Boomburbs
So I haven’t read the book yet, so I can’t give a full review…but I think the topic is really interesting. The Brookings Institution just published a new book Boomburbs: The Rise of America’s Accidental Cities. This book documents the growth of some of the fastest grwoing suburbs in America, suburbs that eventually grow to cities beyond 100,000 in population…but are not the largest city in their metropolitan region.
One problem of the Boomburb cities, according to many of their elected officials, is that they do not get any respect. They are often overshadowed by the larger metropolitan city (e.g. Anaheim to Los Angeles). For example, over a dozen major league sport franchises are centered in Boomburbs, bu only one carries that cities’ name (Anaheim). As an example of these cities not getting any respect I found a reference to the mayor of Salt Lake City (I can’t say I’m surprised):“Michael L. Montadon, the mayor of North Las Vegas (one of the nation’s fastest growing boomburbs), tells of an encounter in which the mayor of Salt Lake City dismissed the idea that the two places share common problems, despite the fact that North Las Vegas is both bigger and more ethnically diverse than Salt Lake City.”
The book also addresses the concept of baby boomburbs. These suburban communities are between 50,000 and 100,000. At least four Utah cities fit the profile as baby boomburbs. If you are interested you can read the first chapter of the book here: Legoland.