Why move to Randolph? Part 1 Suburbanization

The central question for Randolph – and perhaps for any residential community – is how to remain a community of choice.  A community of choice is one where people with the economic means to have a free choice about where to live will want to live.  A community of choice is competitive for new residents.  Randolph has been a community of choice at various times for various peoples.  Over the next few days, I will suggest some of the reasons families have chosen to move to and to stay in Randolph over the last sixty years. Afterwords, I will address why people choose to leave Randolph.  Together, these discussions highlight which qualities have the potential to make Randolph competitive and remain a community of choice.

Suburbanizing

Slightly more than half of the families included in my interviews cited the desire to move to the suburbs as their primary reason for initially moving to Randolph.  They expressed this desire in several ways.  Some said that their families wanted to be able to live in a house with a yard because they had small children.  Some wanted a safe environment.  Some said better schools.  Some said trees or quiet.  Families looking at Randolph from Mattapan, Dorchester, Brockton, and other places viewed Randolph as a place that could provide all of these archetypical suburban qualities.  Remarkably Randolph’s attractiveness as a place for suburban living appears persistent over time.  The interviewees who cited suburbanization as the prime motive for moving to Randolph include families who arrived in the late 1950s, the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s.  The suburbanizing motive was also consistent across racial and ethnic groups.  The interviewees citing suburbanization motives included Jewish, Bengali, Irish, French-Canadian, German, Polish, Eritrean, English, Vietnamese, African-American, Chinese, and Haitian families.

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