Land Use In Action: Raleigh and Other Dynamic Metros At the Forefront of the "Great Inversion"


Our regular readers will know that we will, at times, take a step back from the legal side of things to look at the practical side of things.  After all, in the words of Paul Collier, "Most conduct is guided by norms rather than by laws."  So, let's check out a fascinating norm.

A recent report from The Atlantic by the unparalleled Richard Florida, digesting a report from William Frey with The Brookings Institute, concludes that between 2010 and 2013 (notably, including post-Great Recession numbers gathered after the recognized first "retirements" in 2011 of the Baby Boom generation) 19 of the 51 largest metro areas in the United States saw greater population growth in "core" or "primary cities" than in suburb areas.  Mr. Florida calls this "good news for urbanists and city boosters".

We cite this information neither as "urbanists" nor as "city boosters", but as a group of lawyers keenly aware of and decidedly interested in geographic population (the "where" in development) and economic population (the "what" in development) shifts in the United States and in North Carolina.  What's more, the study highlights "high-tech, knowledge economy hub" Raleigh-Cary -- the Land Use Litigator's physical home -- alongside D.C., San Jose, Austin, Denver and Seattle.

This kind of development creates countless opportunities and challenges for governments and businesses alike, all of which are charged with some interest in the laws, regulations, impacts and environments that aim to shape or will result from these seismic shifts dubbed "the great inversion" by Alan Ehrenhalt.

The Atlantic article can be read here, and William Frey's report can be accessed on The Brookings Institution website here.

These cities are exciting places to be, right now, and will serve as the engines of the American economy in the coming generation.  We're pleased to be a part of this.


DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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