Suburbs Are the New Slum

Combining the subprime mortgage crisis, surveys indicating that only 1/3 of suburbanites are content with their living arrangement and current examples of degeneration in the ‘burbs, asks if the suburbs are indeed The Next Slum? (HT: Erika)

It’s a fairly well-written article which shies away from apocaylptic utterances, but I found that it was, in the end, a bit too optimistic about the future of the ‘burbs. The following quote reveals some apt thinking that is sadly missing in most discussions about the suburbs vs. the city:

Despite this glum forecast for many swaths of suburbia, we should not lose sight of the bigger picture—the shift that’s under way toward walkable urban living is a healthy development. In the most literal sense, it may lead to better personal health and a slimmer population. The environment, of course, will also benefit: if New York City were its own state, it would be the most energy-efficient state in the union; most Manhattanites not only walk or take public transit to get around, they unintentionally share heat with their upstairs neighbors.

It’s a bit of a long article, but good.

3 responses to “Suburbs Are the New Slum”

  1. 53 and counting. . . ;)

    Good article.
    It doesn’t take a genius to connect the dots:
    – The cost of gas is only going to go up.
    – The abhorrent quality with which suburban homes have been built will render them derelict in a few short years.
    – Suburbanites are starting to realize they are quickly becoming exhausted, broke, fat, and lonely.
    – The collective environmental consciousness is starting to wake up to the fact that maybe sprawling car-dependent lifestyles aren’t very responsible. I mean really, who cares if you have CFL light bulbs in all your lamps when you spend 2 hours each day commuting around in your single-person vehicle. (Let’s face it, carpooling never really caught on).

    There is tremendous opportunity for cities to provide quality, affordable urban infill housing. (This is especially feasible in smaller cities where the cost of land in the city centre is less expensive and less dense).

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