suburbs

Is Sprawl An Example of Libertarian Paternalism?

One widely-publicized attempt to find a middle ground between laissez-fair and overregulation is  "libertarian paternalism": the idea that (in the words of New York Times columnist David Brooks), "Government doesn’t tell you what to do, but it gently biases the context so that you find it ea... read more »

A Choice, Not An Echo

In the most recent City Journal, Joel Kotkin wrote an article discussing cities' alleged loss of children, and arguing that cities would be more successful in retaining children if only they could be more like low-density suburbs. ... read more »

Suburban Poverty: A Reality Check

I just used Amazon.com to look inside a new book on suburban poverty ("Confronting Suburban Poverty In America" by Elizabeth Kneebone and Alan Berube).   I found the following admission: "[since 2000] poverty rates rose by equal degrees in cities and suburbs (roughly 3 percentage points) t... read more »

The Irony of Minimum Parking Requirements

As many people (including me) have written, minimum parking requirements encourage sprawl by requiring "islands of building surounded by seas of parking."  Generally, municipalities trying to end or modify these rules have started with downtowns and worked their way outward. ... read more »

Confusing Suburbs With Rural Areas

A recent article discussed in the Atlantic blog suggests that suicide rates increase as density goes down, especially below 300 people per square kilometer (i.e. 777 people per square mile).   The title of the article: "The Unsettling Link Between Sprawl and Suicide."  ... read more »

Remembering Sprawl in Jackson, MS

After 12 years of Depression and 4 years of a very bloody World War II, America was in the mood for a new way of living, with new buildings on freshly developed parcels on the edges of cities. The cities needed paint, tuck pointing and much more, but the new subdivisions caught the nation's imaginat... read more »

A (Possible, Partial) Myth About Suburban Poverty

A recent blog post commenting on the growth of suburban poverty has the headline: "As Cities Prosper, Poor Move to Suburbs."  The headline seems to imply a simple story: poor people priced out of the city are moving to suburbs.  (In fairness, the story itself is much less simplistic). ... read more »

Suburban Poverty? So What?

Because of the release of a new book about the growth of poverty in the suburbs,  there has been all sorts of chatter on Twitter and the urbanist blogosphere about the growth of suburban poverty.  Obviously, poverty anywhere is not a good thing.  But as long as there is poverty, is it... read more »

Two Cheers for Cheap

In new urbanist circles, "cheap" is often a dirty word; for example, I recently noticed a reference to "cheap" suburbs in a blog.  I find this objectionable for two reasons.  First, in a nation where many regions suffer from insanely expensive housing projects, we should be striving for ch... read more »

The pros and cons of elevator suburbs

As I was looking through my Twitter feed last night, I noticed an article on Canada's "elevator suburbs"- suburban streets (often, but not always, in low-income areas) filled with mid-and high-rise apartment buildings and shops, with lower-density housing on side streets.  How do these places s... read more »