In Praise of Urban Sprawl
More after the break.
summer"Joel Kotkin, in “The Human City: Urbanism for the Rest of Us,” presents the most cogent, evidence-based and clear-headed exposition of the pro-suburban argument. In Mr. Kotkin’s view, there is a war against suburbia, an unjust war launched by intellectuals, environmentalists and central-city enthusiasts. In pithy, readable sections, each addressing a single issue, he debunks one attack on the suburbs after another. But he does more than that. He weaves an impressive array of original observations about cities into his arguments, enriching our understanding of what cities are about and what they can and must become, with sections reflecting on such topics as “housing inflation,” “the rise of the home-based economy,” “the organic expansion of cities” and “forces undermining the middle class in global cities.'"
The more urban, the more sterile the relations between the residence, it is only in the suburbs, and exurbs where one can find the liberty of family, community, and neighborhoods.
Portlandia has long attempted to recreate the city into a single's, young urban professional couple's, and empty nester's Utopia. All that has brought is a grinding sterility, without community, without family, and without real neighborhoods.
Maddogsbrer lived in urban Portlandia for a many years, the difference between the urban, and Maddogs more classical suburban neighborhood was stark. Maddog knows most everyone in his immediate neighborhood, and the neighbors get together in summer for a simple block party. This extends, although not as strongly, to an area of perhaps a 1/2 mile circle, where Maddog knows a large number of these extended neighbors. In Brer's neighborhood, no one knew anyone outside of their immediate neighbors, and them only when necessary.
Urbanization in America is entering a new phase. The urban zone will need to redefine itself to remain relevant. I expect it will increasingly become entertainment driven, with restaurants, theater, and other entertainment venues. While center urban businesses decline, and those employed to work onsite, as opposed to at home worker numbers decline. This will benefit the human element, which prefers living in a green (the color) environment not a concrete, glass, and steel environment.
Watch urban areas like Detroit to see what happens. It is unclear at this point where the change will first take place, but there is no doubt that places like Detroit need change.
The Human City: Urbanism for the Rest of Us by Joel Kotkin