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In Defense of Suburbia

I don't have one, but Canada's National Post recently ran a 3-part series (part one, two, and three) defending the virtues of suburbia. Each article begins with this:
Lampooned in movies, TV and books, the suburbs have always been maligned, but is it as bad as urbanites think? In this last of a three-part series, Post Homes looks at how a community can create contentment.
Maybe it's true in Canada (or the imaginations of the conservatives who publish the National Post)?.. It's a stretch to say that suburbs in the U.S. have always been maligned. Actually, I like these articles, not because I necessarily agree with the content, but because it means people are actually starting to defend the position that suburbs are great, rather than simply accept it as a fact of life.

(from flickr user Dean Terry)

On a related note, I've never really enjoyed news stories about people who take "car-free" challenges and such. While it's nice to have evidence that it can be done, it also means that the prevailing assumption is that it's otherwise impossible.

Comments

Kristen said…
Those articles aren't bad. It seems that people recognize that there is a need for more sustainablity, connections to the main city and actual community. I'm not sure most suburbs in the US are there yet. In addition, I don't see why we can't have single family homes that are a bit closer together with sidewalks and close-by bus stops that come often
Anonymous said…
This is sorta the flipside of what you're getting at or implying: http://usj.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/36/8/1361

Check it:
One shouldn't take for granted that "sense of community" doesn't exist in the (stereo)typical postwar suburbs, or that it will necessarily come to new urbanist developments; Talen shows through a review of the psychological and social science research literature that the built environment is but one factor -- and a fairly small one at that -- in sense of community. Which is not to say that the suburbs don't have other, major problems (economic and energy issues among them), or that there isn't anything to be said for new urbanism.

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