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If suburb living is so desirable, why does it cost more to live in the city?



> If suburb living is so desirable, why does it cost more to live in the city?

Cities are very good places to live if you are very rich, and you might need to live there for certain work (commuting has a time cost, and doing it with a cushion for a job with long hours and strict on-time requirements can be prohibitive, for instance.) So, there are reasons why cities are desirable for some portion of the population

But price isn't just demand, it's the intersection of supply and demand, and the available land in a given radius of a point (say, a city center) goes up with the square of distance. So even if desirability increased with distance, it'd still be possible for price to go down.


Because density is inherently more complicated and expensive to build and maintain.

This is also why there aren't "cheap" skyscrapers in suburban/rural areas. Because even when it's easy and 100% legal to build by-right, any density above 2-3 stories is still inherently really expensive.


In a metro area like chicago that has 9.5 million people, the "cool and hip" urban areas fit about 300,000 people.

Plus jobs and traffic. If I could live in a middle rung suburb and have a 30 min commute, I'd do it.


A portion of the wages of the higher paying job you're theoretically commuting to are priced in.

Aka "it's what the market will bear" or "supply and demand"


There's (literally) exponentially more land available at greater distances from the urban center.

The area grows in proportion to radius squared.


That's not exponential, it's quadratic (still fast).


Squaring is raising a number to the power of two, an exponential operation. Growing in proportion to a power of two could be reasonably described as a quadratic rate of growth.


The pedantry obviously isn't relevant to the discussion, but just so you're clear why everyone is calling you wrong: "exponential growth" refers to a function of x that goes as C^x for some constant C, not one that goes as x^C. The latter is "polynomial" (of which "quadratic" is the term used when C is 2).


Exponential is a^x. Square is polynomial, i.e. x^a.


More jobs I guess?


This is especially true if you're part of a couple.

If one of us finds a job in New York, Boston, or Chicago, there's probably something nearby for the other too.

GE had some interesting R&D jobs in Schenectady, but unless they hired both of us, it would be a lot tricker for the other spouse to find something relevant. US universities, which are often located in small towns, sometimes offer "spousal hires", where they either create a new position for one person, or at least give them some preference when hiring. I've never heard of a company doing that, but it would certainly pique our interest (anybody need a neuro/ML guy?)


Jobs are often desirable. I suppose it's down to the individual to decide whether they care more to 1. optimize for avoiding the most undesirable situations or 2. optimize for total average desirability of where they live. My question would be: which strategy is more common in practice? Is there research on the psychology of deciding to live in a city?


Supply and demand.


maybe there is more suburban land available?




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