Future cities more urban, less suburban


Like many business people, Donald Monti sees opportunity in the flurry of foreclosures across the nation -- but he's no suburban real estate speculator.

Instead, Monti -- a Plainview, NY, developer -- has seen the future and it looks more like a city than a suburb.

Monti is taking his vision for revitalized, livable and walkable downtowns in smaller cities to America's biggest downtown next week, to the floor of the New York Stock Exchange where he'll speak at a Wharton School of Business forum titled "The Road To Recovery: Investing in the Global Real Estate Rebound." He will be joined by Christopher Leinberger of The Brooking Institution.

The concept taps into the now familiar desire of empty nester boomers and young professionals for more urban lifestyles. Monti and Leinberger call them the "creative class:" 12% of the workforce in 1980, 33% today and an estimated 50% in a decade. Quite a potential market.