suburbs

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 »

Kotkin and Florida, Part II

Richard Florida has responded to Joel Kotkin's attack on "creative class" centered policies.  Kotkin doesn't really deny Florida's point that places with high-skilled workers have higher wages, but says that wage gains in high-skill cities are outweighed by high housing costs. Florida agrees.&n... read more »

My Generation Chooses Urbanism (More Than Its Parents, Anyhow)

While I was rummaging through some old files at my parents' house, I discovered two books that I thought were pretty interesting: the school directory for the boarding school I attended in the late 1970s, and the 1999 alumni directory for the same school.  As a new urbanist, my first thought wa... read more »

Nonsense about Nixon and Reagan

A recent article in the New Republic has the reassuring (to me) headline: "Republicans Can't Afford to Ignore Cities Anymore."  I'm certainly all for Republicans not ignoring cities, but there was a passage in the article that made me want to bang my head against the nearest brick wall.  ... read more »