Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Who is to blame for suburbs

Well, that letter (see the post below this one) sure did get me in trouble. I received some messages from people were were very offended by it. I'd like to take a moment and reply to all of them at once.

I'm sorry. I didn't mean to offend you. I don't think you or the the vast majority of people alive today are to blame for the way land is being used. The decisions to rip up farms, neglect cities, and build car-dependent suburbs were made by people in the 1930s, 40s, and 50s. Most people alive today have no choice because single family detached houses in residential-only neighborhoods are all there is to buy. If you want to live in Silicon Valley, or in Dallas, or in Tampa, or in Sacramento, single family detached houses are virtually the only choice. Suburbs are what the developers in earlier times built, and we are stuck with them for at least the next 100 years. I don't at all fault the people who buy them. I fault the builders and planners of the past.

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