Thursday, April 3, 2008

A Dysfunctional Living Arrangement

The struggles behind suburbia's closed garage doors and driveways may appear to be invisible, but not seeing (think Horton and the Kangaroo) is still believing. And what we're not seeing is what is happening in the streets of London, Paris, New York and Tokyo. Well, believe it or not, it's not much of a stretch - what's happening here, is happening there, in fact it's happening everywhere:

With gas costly, drivers finally cut back

Click here for this story.

And we see the implications each day when we watch TV tunes or listen to the radio. Prices, all prices, are on the up and up.

That means behind closed doors, father's must explain to their children that they can't eat out as often, and they will have to wait 'a while' before they can get a new cellphone/doll/computer game/pair of shoes/tin of beans.

The end of suburbia means the beginning of something else. Essentially it is a more European, more village-scale style of living, with less driving and more walking. Most buildings are three stories high, and multi-purpose (store on the ground floor, living and offices immediately above).

What we are already seeing is a new kind of urbanism developing and people are actually willing to pay a premium for these. These are walkable communities, not entirely functional or plugged into organic systems, but integrated and at least friendlier than traffic based systems. Over time we will see parking lots converted into something more functional for people, and less functional as large temporary storage spaces for motor vehicles.

Visit a valuable resource on this subject - The End of Suburbia.

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