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ASIAN AND LATINO IMMIGRANTS' PREFERENCES FOR WALKABLE SUB-URBAN NEIGHBORHOODS

Abstract
By : Shenglin Chang

 
When immigrants arrive in the United States, their search for a new home represents a transformative personal and cultural journey. This paper investigates this transformative process in relation to Smart Growth principles around walkability promoted by a suburban county in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. This survey of immigrants from various countries in Asia and Latin America, finds that seventy percent of those who emigrated from urban environments prefer to live in single-family detached houses. Survey participants from Latin American countries prefer these homes in compact urban locations more than Asian immigrants and native-born Americans, while Asians prefer suburban neighborhoods with pedestrian amenities. Their preferences represent a hybrid version of the American dream which combines both the urban and suburban imaginary, or what this article terms "sub-urban" preferences. This study emphasizes that walkability is critical to immigrant sub-urban preferences and ought to influence the way professionals design and plan neighborhoods and housing. Keywords : Immigrants, Walkability, Smart Growth, Suburbs, Washington, DC.

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