"History is a wonderful thing, if only it was true"

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Long Term Thinking - on sprawl

The topic of planned "sprawl" has been gnawing at me, and the argument(s) for re-urbanization

Found this to be interesting Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

1) cities as more "Green" - elevators are the most fuel efficient mode of transportation (other than walking/biking)
2) cities = civilization (see Stuart Brand on how 3rd world slums still beat rural life in the developing world)
3) transportation - light rail/busses etc may not be efficient when you seek to disperse population - still thinking that one through
We do know that the Interstate system was build with the potential of war in mind.

We're now over two decades past the fall of the only nuclear competition (Soviet Union) and therefore the rationale for dispersal 
Give it a decade or more for the "facts" to become obvious, then we have 9/11 (I know of people who left NYC for the hinterlands of New England out of fear of repeat attacks) 

Layer on the "affordable housing" fiasco that led to the financial crisis ... sprawl may be history.

Interesting conversation with Bernard Winograd last week (he and Carol are becoming residents)
Blame for the push to increase home ownership shared by both political parties, changing demographics impacting housing

Thought percolating is how to tie these threads into a coherent narrative and show some of the deeper impetus for suburbs 

One advantage of age - I can recall the Cuban Missile Crisis, (and other events) growing up with knowledge that violent end of the world as we knew it was a real possibility 

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