The big downside is that kids do need to be driven places, which is less true "in town", but it's not like the suburbs don't have lots of advantages too.
Even the millennials are now starting to finally get married and have kids, and guess what: they are moving to the suburbs too.
I don't begrudge anyone their preferences, but all this hipster trashing of the 'burbs just flies in the face of what most families actual want.
And this goes back to the title of this article, part of the reason people see parenting as so burdensome is they now have to deal with the added realities of a Civic planning policy that is a miserable failure.
Edit: To add data, to build a basic house ( 4 corner ) at a Good, but not luxury level averages $147/sq.ft. , to build a multistory residential unit at highest quality it averages $150/sq.ft. If you build over 15 stories the average price can drop by about 11%. Those are raw construction costs, including labor and materials, and take into consideration most new housing developments in the suburbs are _not_ basic 4 corner houses.
100% true. I work as a real estate data researcher. Totally agree suburban sprawl is a significant failure, and we're seeing in this thread yet another example of dragging out the old reliable cop-out "market forces" as a way to pretend that bad decisions made were good decisions. Up is down, sun rises in the west, etc.
We absolutely have got to get out from under this pervasive market fundamentalist quackery.
Contract that with the sprawl in most sections of the northeast. Houses extend for miles with little to no public green space, except for a handful of county run parks that you drive to. Newer developments will try to incorporate parks more frequently, but generally they will all have parking lots because the only way to get to them in by car.
Both of those environments are a stark contrast to small town America which has a very different operation then either. Small towns are driveable, lower density then even the suburbs, and generally more pleasant to live in so long as they have the economic driver required to sustain them. Small towns have had their own problems with the rise of big cities and their suburbs, and I think they are a model that _could_ work if we as a nation set them up to succeed, but today all our regulations favor the bigger cities and towns and we have been watching the small towns die out