Friday, June 20, 2014

The End of the Suburbs

They say if you live long enough, you'll see trends and styles reverse and/or return. Well, bell-bottoms haven't made a reappearance, but the flow of people in and out of cities is certainly going the opposite direction. Leigh Gallagher has written a book about "where the American Dream is moving" titled THE END OF THE SUBURBS, read on audio by Jessica Geffen. In it, she says that the flight from cities into suburban developments due to crime and congestion has gone into a U turn. Today, crime in the suburbs is on the rise, and the nuclear family has changed too, going on the decline, while single person households are on the rise. So there's no need for good schools and yards…and cars. Transportation costs and rising oil prices make living far from work more expensive. So the trend now is urban, with walkable neighborhoods and cameras everywhere to document crime. This means high rise condos and apartment buildings, lofts with garden roofs, common spaces for sharing, and easy access to shopping and coffee shops. This trend is not just in America, but also overseas in places like China and India. Consolidation of industry and mass housing is made livable by smart architecture and pedestrian friendly engineering. With cleaner electric vehicles and fewer vehicles in general, air pollution can be held in control. The downside? Population density makes easier targets for terror. Why can't we all get along? That may be the biggest and most vital question of all. 

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