The suburbs have a problem and it’s that they are lifeless. There’s little to no wildlife and human culture is confined to isolated locations and this is a problem in many ways and people know this.
We’ve looked at ways to fix the suburbs on Things Are Good before, this piece on the other hand, as an assortment of ideas and a good synopsis of efforts being made to save the suburbs from American suburban malfeasance:
After nearly four years of a McMansion mortgage crisis and new waves of Creative Class immigration into America’s leading cities, it’s time to confront a strange new phenomenon: the hollowed-out suburbs. It may not quite be the apocalyptic vision offered up by Christopher Leinberger in The Atlantic three years ago during the height of the mortgage crisis – when it was feared that empty McMansions would turn into crack dens – but it’s still bracing stuff. Indeed, the psycho-demographic pendulum appears to have shifted across America. According to most surveys, people prefer to live in walkable neighborhoods and sustainably designed communities — places that have all the perks of big-city living, as well as the goodness of green parks and good schools.
So what would it take to create these types of walkable, sustainable suburbs on a national scale?
Two architectural & design firms, Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Droog, recently hosted the Open House 2011 event where they re-imagined the classic suburban utopia – Levittown in Long Island, New York – and brainstormed ways that the suburban dream could be revitalized. They looked at what has worked in places like Manhattan and Brooklyn — places where dogwalkers, drycleaners, bohemian cafes, 24-hour bodegas and countless delivery services ease the strain of everyday urban life — and came up with suburban equivalents.