Editorial: Celebrating the rebirth of the suburbs

Particularly with the crazy week we just survived on Wall Street, and in combination with the immovable stalemate we have in Springfield, it's easy to lose sight of the encouraging economic news we have around us.

But take a look down the block, and houses are being built. Take a drive almost anywhere, and roads are being widened or replanted. Take time to visit our schools, and amazing programs are being added. Take a peek inside our malls, and they're all undergoing renovations. Take the opportunity to explore the business community, and you'll see it's expanding and growing.

The Great Recession took a heavy toll. It was tough to endure. And there still are some difficult aftershocks.

But the suburbs are starting to move again. If the boom isn't exactly here yet, it's definitely on its way. And it's arriving with the fundamentals of a rapidly improving infrastructure that's going to support and assist it.

In today's editions, we chronicle that encouraging news with a 56-page special section, "Progress 2015: What's Driving the Suburbs' Rebirth." As with most of the coverage we present, we hope you find it enlightening and informative. But we also hope you find it encouraging and even inspiring.

"The sun," as poet Robert Browning said, "sets to rise again." We're seeing that sunrise in the suburbs.

For decades, the suburbs have provided a special home for those of us who live here. Next to a great city, but with a great identity all our own, the suburbs have offered the best of both worlds - the amenities of Chicago and the breathable open space and beauty of suburban Cook and the collar counties.

We still have the assets that lured people to the suburbs to begin with - great schools, safe neighborhoods, good roads, plentiful parks and recreation. But in the decades since the suburbs were born, we've added an emerging culture that includes music and theater and sports and restaurants. The jobs followed us to the suburbs as did professional local governments. And the shopping? Well, the shopping is beyond compare.

The suburbs remain a good place to live and raise a family. But the suburbs now also are a good place to work, to play, to retire. Simply a good place to be and to prosper.

We've seen a significant and abiding progress in the suburbs since the depths of the Great Recession. Much of it has arrived quietly, somewhat below the radar. But with or without fanfare, that progress has continued relentlessly, like the constant flow of a river.

It is a rebirth that merits celebration. And optimism. And a commitment to keep the progress going.

• See all our State of the Suburbs stories at

State of Suburbs: Pent-up demand fueling auto market

State of the suburbs: Mergers, expansions transform health care

State of the suburbs: Governments making up for lost time

State of the Suburbs: New road projects cement future

State of the Suburbs: Recreation finds creative ways to expand

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