We've already seen the trends of Suburban Sprawl and Big City Gentrification. At the same time we have seen the near extinction of
My prediction for the near future is quite different: the mass exodus away from smaller communities around
Three significant changes in our society have made this possible:
1) Technology innovation: the ubiquitous availability and affordability of new Internet technologies (Web, Blogs, Email, IM, VOIP, Virtual Conferencing, E-Commerce, etc.) are making it possible for more and more knowledge and service workers to be able to work virtually from anywhere.
2) New distribution models: a new distribution system makes it possible to easily move products anywhere, anytime. In addition to the Wal-Marts and Home Depots that have popped up to bring stuff to rural America, companies like FedEx, Amazon.com and Ebay have made it possible for the average American to have access to an efficient and cost-effective means to send, receive, and market goods from anywhere.
3) Space: quite simply, rural
While technology, distribution and space make this new shift possible, there are several trends that I believe will make it likely that a new boom occurs in the countryside near you:
1) The economy: it is way more expensive to live in or near a major metropolitan center or big city and consumers are demanding more for their shrinking incomes.
2) Corporate incentives: more and more companies are seeing that they can reduce operational expenses and increase productivity by having more of their employees work from home.
3) Family values: more families will want to move back near home to take care of their aging parents, or they will want to live in an environment more conducive to spending time raising children (just think – no commuting).
4) Education: depending on the particular community, many rural areas have stellar educational systems and can provide parents with a greater voice because there are simply less students.
5) Crime: there is less crime in rural
So that’s my prediction. I’m already looking for buildings and land back near the farm where I grew up. You should too while the getting’s good…