Why some leave Randolph: Part 1 Suburbanization

Now that we’ve explored some of the reasons people move to Randolph, it’s time to think about why some people leave.  Understanding these issues will help us develop strategies to help maintain Randolph as a community of choice.

Suburbanization

Suburbanization – a move for a larger house, yard, safety, and quiet – was one of the main reasons most families moved to Randolph in the first place.  It has also become one of the main reasons cited by those who have left or plan to leave Randolph.  The popular definition of “suburb” is relative.  In the mid-twentieth century days of suburbanization, Randolph’s homes and amenities matched what the emerging market of suburbanites desired.  Today however the suburbanite market desires larger homes, larger lots, and larger stores than Randolph can provide.  A family from Boston may regard a move to Randolph as a move to the suburbs.  But, a family from Randolph might regard a move to Bridgewater or Easton as a move to the suburbs.

It’s significant that suburbanization emerged in my interviews as both a reason people left Randolph and a reason they moved there in the first place.  I believe it shows that Randolph functions as a gateway suburb.  Randolph is often the first step into suburbia for the people that move there, but it is usually not the last step out into the suburbs that they or later generations of their families will take.  It is important to recognize that to a large degree Randolph is a transitional community.  It is a place where families can go as they move up the socio-economic ladder.  Understanding that function should inform strategies for how to make Randolph a competitive town – and especially for which cities and towns it should compete against for residents and businesses.

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