Saving the Suburbs

I'd say the planning battle the post-boomer population has to struggle with is: what do we do with the 'suburbs'? Specifically, what do we do with all that low-density, sprawling infrastructure we built in 'the good days' when it seemed we could consume without end? I'm not slagging suburbs at all.. building Yaletown straight out to Harrison isn't the answer either.

A series currently being posted in the New York Times mulls the question, and draws some interesting commentary.
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This is not unexplored territory; good ideas abound, but most remain just that — great theory, little practice. Some suburbs get it right; some cities do, too. But too many, especially in recent years, just haven’t.

While she doesn't discuss public transit directly, the implications of low-density development lurk in the background. The series brings up some interesting examples of people already working on this re-working, from people distributingfree 'green' building plans, to resource-sharing 'cul-de-sac communes'

With the changes that have come about in the past week, I think it's a good idea to have a look at the big picture. I'm concerned that, while it's great that "the bridge" is now back in the realm of public discourse, many have been won over by the idea of a multi-billion dollar shiny new object. There is much more at stake here.. efficient public transit will serve as a conduit for the clashing of practicality and ideals, as we rebuild our suburbs in a form that faces the future, while drawing from the best of the past.

>> photo by istargazer