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SCHAUMBURG, IL-Senior planners in 66 “edge cities”—faster growing, upscale suburbs where office cubicles tend to outnumber bedrooms—are not satisfied with access to commercial businesses. However, a survey conducted by Roosevelt University’s Institute for Metropolitan Affairs tend to be pleased with the amount of available retail space as well as the design of commercial and industrial areas.

The survey was presented this week at the conclusion of the National Edge City Conference in this northwest suburb of Chicago.

Satisfaction with available retail space was cited by 67.7% of the senior planners, ranking fifth on a list behind educational opportunities for adults, available hospitals and doctors, housing for higher-income households and whether their community was a good place to raise children. Lack of access to commercial businesses was cited by 34.5% of senior planners, which ranked behind the lack of housing for lower-income housing and traffic as areas of dissatisfaction.

However, effectiveness of regional cooperation in developing commercial and retail space was a sore point, with 24.1% saying their local governments were not doing a good job.

“The planners tell us that in areas where survival is important, like police protection, we tend to do very well,” says Roosevelt professor James H. Lewis, a co-author of the study. “But in areas where we compete against each other, we do less well.”

Demographer Woody Carter, director of research for the Metro Chicago Information Center, warns residents of edge cities are tougher customers than their suburban counterparts. He cites local statistics showing residents of areas such as Deerfield, Oakbrook and Schaumburg tend to be more affluent, have a higher rate of homeownership and more education.

“Overwhelmingly, their financial situation is far better than the other suburbs,” Carter says. “People think they’re in a perfect place. They love it there. But it’s very hard to keep people pleased. It would be better to think of edge cities as edge suburbs. They’re suburbs squared.”

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