The 18-hour suburb: Savvy communities embracing a mixed-use approach to development

“Recently, I’ve been really starting to become concerned about inner suburbs and the small towns around these metropolitan areas,” said Don Carter, director of the Remaking Cities Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. “We’re starting to see declines in property values and rising crime in some suburban areas.”

He described broader forces at work — economic, generational, demographic — at a time when cities, Pittsburgh included, are showing signs of revitalization.

“Thirty-five years ago, people were pretty much writing off downtown Pittsburgh,” he said, noting a series of planning and policy strategies that were then undertaken to revive it. “Is there a similar strategy looking at these small towns and these suburbs?”