From New York to California, suburban areas around the country seem to be zeroing in on one reality--to attract millennials they need urban-style development. The Wall Street Journal's Eliot Brown highlights the rejuvenation efforts in New Rochelle, NY. But that town, 15 miles from New York City, isn't alone.

Urbanization efforts in New Rochelle, a city of 79,000, offer a glimpse of changes taking shape in suburbs around the country. While the approaches vary, what they share is a general desire for urban-style development meant to appeal to youth and attract employers who might otherwise gravitate to cities.

At one time, cities were trying to keep up with the suburbs..

These efforts mark a major shift, planners say, particularly given that cities were trying to compete with suburbs just a few decades ago, plowing highways through downtowns and building enclosed urban malls.

“The suburbs are mimicking cities like just cities were mimicking suburbs,” says Bruce Katz, who focuses on urbanization at the Brookings Institution, a think tank in Washington. “This is really an upending.”

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