29 January 2008

Rural Gentrification

In a sense this is old news, since another word for it is sprawl and is descendant of our interstate highway system. But, I have never heard it termed rural gentrification as the Wall Street Journal does:

With the Internet allowing people to work from almost anywhere, the distinction between first and second homes has become blurred. Many people are buying retirement property while they're still employed. Millions of soon-to-retire baby boomers, say demographers, will propel this trend for years to come.

"What we're seeing is a class colonization," says Peter Nelson, an associate professor of geography at Middlebury College and an expert on rural migration. "It really represents a shift in the nature of the economy from a resource-extraction economy to an aesthetic-based economy."

On a similar note, see this article from the Columbus Dispatch about small towns in the middle of sprawl trying to either spruce up or create new "downtowns".

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