Many Americans are moving back to town For decades, the American dream was a spacious house outside of the city with a big yard where the children and neighbor kids could play. It sounds perfect, but some suburbanites are having second thoughts, according to author Leigh Gallagher. In fact, according to census data, during the last four years cities have, for the first time, grown faster than the suburbs. Gallagher's book, The End of the Suburbs: Where the American Dream is Moving, details the apparent trend of homeowners out of the burbs and into the city. That could be because cities save time. In the suburbs, the bread winner has a long commute to work. Meanwhile, one parent spends about three hours a day in the car driving the children to school, sports practice, their private lessons and places like the library. And finally, the big house and yard are a lot of work to maintain. Because homes are far apart, there are no casual, impromptu meetings with other kids or with other adults. Gallagher writes that suburbanites want a more walkable, urban community. It could be in one of the revitalized downtown areas of a city or in one of the "city replicas" in the suburbs. They range from smaller walkable residential villages to giant "lifestyle" centers. Certainly, not everyone is disenchanted with suburban living. It still offers fresh air, elbow room, a high level of privacy, and a specious structure where you can modify rooms to reflect what your interests are now. And you can invite boomerang kids or your mom and dad to stay with you. Chicago builder John McLinden recalls the streets of his home town, where residents sat on their porches, greeted and visited with people passing by. He's building such a place."