"...Charles Marohn and his colleagues at the Minnesota-based nonprofit Strong Towns have made a very compelling case that suburban sprawl is basically a Ponzi scheme, in which municipalities expand infrastructure hoping to attract new taxpayers that can pay off the mounting costs associated with the last infrastructure expansion, over and over." Building resilient cities and towns with fiscal conservatism
. [more inside]
posted by invitapriore
on May 8, 2012 -
works with a fictional world of suburban forms. Cristoph Gielen
works with actual suburban forms. Here are some of their works, in no particular order: 1
posted by twoleftfeet
on Dec 15, 2011 -
America's First Suburb Turns 60
Almost 60 years ago, a planned community embodied the hopes and prosperity of America. Now, it represents a more realistic picture of the American experience. The BBC investigates Levittown, Pennsylvania, as part of a year-long series. [more inside]
posted by modernnomad
on Nov 8, 2011 -
: "Revolutionary Road," based on Richard Yates's 1961 novel of the same name, is the latest entry in a long stream of art that portrays the American suburbs as the physical correlative to spiritual and mental death.
posted by kliuless
on Dec 29, 2008 -
Are you a young middle-class creative type (probably white) who has chosen to live in an urban neighborhood that your parents would have shunned? Have the families that formerly lived in your neighborhood (probably not white) been pushed out by soaring rents and real-estate prices to the city fringes or suburbs? The New Republic
on demographic inversion
posted by digaman
on Aug 2, 2008 -
The sub-prime mortgage crisis is giving way in some places to crime ridden McMansion ghettos, perhaps the beginning of a larger long term trend in demographics
: "many low-density suburbs and McMansion subdivisions, including some that are lovely and affluent today, may become what inner cities became in the 1960s and ’70s—slums characterized by poverty, crime, and decay."
posted by stbalbach
on Feb 29, 2008 -
Zeitgeistfilter: Lumpen Leisure
and Welcome to Middle-Class Lockdown... Now Shut Up and Buy Something
-- two fine rants about our current state of disunion by James Howard Kuntsler, author of The Long Emergency
), and writer and Vietnam vet Joe Bageant
. "All over but the keening for our soon-to-be-lost machine world," Kunstler predicts in The American Conservative
, while Bageant taps the inner stream-of-unconsciousness for Dissident Voice
: "Things cannot be as bad as the alarmists say. They cannot be as bad as I often suspect they are. If there really were such a thing as global warming they would be starting to do something about it. And besides, even if it were true, science will find a way to fix it. If there really were genocide going on in so many places far more people would be concerned... If the earth were heating up we would surely notice it. If our soldiers and government agencies were torturing people around the world it would make the news. If millions were being exterminated, it would be more obvious, would it not?" (Kunstler's book previously discussed here
, Bageant here
posted by digaman
on Feb 14, 2006 -
wants you to know: Kids smoke pot. And sometimes you can't even tell! "You could have the honors student, cheerleader, football-player-dating girl with straight A’s who may be the go-between for some drug dealer, just selling the stuff at school.” Even in the suburbs! Got your pearls clutched tightly? The Washington City Paper
posted by occhiblu
on Dec 3, 2004 -
Boom! A master planned community. Boom! A big-box mall! Our Sprawling, Supersize Utopia.
This article, by New York Times columnist David Brooks, takes a look at exploding suburbs and exurban migration.
This migration is nothing new, author Joel Garreau wrote extensively about it in his 1991 book Edge Cities.
The phenomonon really took off after World War II, during the period of post war prosperity, and is best represented by this famous postwar American suburb.
A veritable army of "suburban sprawl critics" has emerged over the years including Jane Jacobs
and James Howard Knunstler
plus many others
including some who are predicting the immenent demise of suburbs
because of oil depletion.
For Brooks the critics of suburbs "just regurgitate the same critiques decade after decade, regardless of the suburban reality flowering around them" but you can't dismiss what the architect Paolo Soleri says about American society that
"we have a society that is moving very rapidly to the super-, super-, super-consumptive."
posted by thedailygrowl
on Apr 30, 2004 -
You're not from around here, are you?
On Tuesday in Wellesley, MA a kindergartener was put on the wrong bus to go home from afterschool care. The boy is black, and the bus is for the Metco program, which buses minority kids from Boston to suburban schools. Random mixup, or racial bias at work? Much hand-wringing ensues.
posted by serafinapekkala
on Sep 5, 2003 -
High School Hazing??? Wha???
What an incredible example of both idiocy and some truly disgusting behavior. Personally, I grew up in the frosty northeast in the mid 80's where there was no shortage of inter-clique "Breakfast Club" style nastiness, but I had never even heard of such a thing until I had seen Dazed and Confused
. Is this a regional thing? Certainly, there is no shortage of this kind of juvenile ridiculousness happening elsewhere
in the country, but it never ceases to amaze me every time I hear about it. Were any MeFi'ers subject to this kind of awful ritual while they were growing up?
posted by psmealey
on May 7, 2003 -
The Weekly Standard: Patio Man and the Sprawl People There he is atop the uppermost tier of his multi-level backyard patio/outdoor recreation area posed like an admiral on the deck of his destroyer. In his mind's eye he can see himself coolly flipping the garlic and pepper T-bones on the front acreage of his new grill while carefully testing the citrus-tarragon trout filets that sizzle fragrantly in the rear. On the lawn below he can see his kids, Haley and Cody, frolicking on the weedless community lawn that is mowed twice weekly by the people who run Monument Crowne Preserve, his townhome community.
posted by gen
on Aug 6, 2002 -
Do you want fries with that house?
Not content with a normal McMansion, the Banner family of Potomac, Md. upgraded four years ago from a 4,500 square foot house to a 8,500 square foot house. Its six bedrooms and nine bathrooms now comfortably accomodate the house's two adults and two children. The unusually ironic NYTimes (reg req.) article does not spare us the absurdities of this arrangement, a growing trend in wealthy suburban enclaves. Interior decorators must now "supersize" furniture to fill up a cavernous "media room". Entire wings of the house sit unused for months, because the suburban rich entertain others at home no more often than their middle-class counterparts.
Suppose you had a $500k income and a completely empty 2 acre zoned lot in Potomac in which to live. What might you build there?
posted by PrinceValium
on Jun 20, 2002 -
The Baltimore Sun has a series of articles that explore the possible failure of Columbia, MD
to live up to expectations after 30 years.
posted by rorschach
on Dec 28, 2000 -
In the late 1940s, a builder named William Levitt started a revolution in a Long Island potato field. Levitt built 2,000 simple, identical houses for returning GIs in the midst of a nationwide housing crisis. Levittown, as the development became known, was the first emblem of a new American lifestyle -- suburbanism
"I think the reality of the situation is that the suburbs are going to become the slums of tomorrow ... Some of them will be the ruins of tomorrow."
link via thewebtoday
posted by lagado
on Dec 7, 2000 -