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"SUBURBS, NOT DENSE CITIES, ARE THE FUTURE

 
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jabailo



Joined: 20 Mar 2006
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Location: Kent (East Hill), WA

PostPosted: Fri Sep 03, 2010 7:18 am    Post subject: "SUBURBS, NOT DENSE CITIES, ARE THE FUTURE Reply with quote

URBAN LEGENDS: WHY SUBURBS, NOT DENSE CITIES, ARE THE FUTURE

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It turns out that the rise of the megacity is by no means inevitable -- and it might not even be happening. Shlomo Angel, an adjunct professor at New York University's Wagner School, has demonstrated that as the world's urban population exploded from 1960 to 2000, the percentage living in the 100 largest megacities actually declined from nearly 30 percent to closer to 25 percent. Even the widely cited 2009 World Bank report on megacities, a staunchly pro-urban document, acknowledges that as societies become wealthier, they inevitably begin to deconcentrate, with the middle classes moving to the periphery. Urban population densities have been on the decline since the 19th century, Angel notes, as people have sought out cheaper and more appealing homes beyond city limits. In fact, despite all the "back to the city" hype of the past decade, more than 80 percent of new metropolitan growth in the United States since 2000 has been in suburbs.

And that's not such a bad thing. Ultimately, dispersion -- both city to suburb and megacity to small city -- holds out some intriguing solutions to current urban problems. The idea took hold during the initial golden age of industrial growth -- the English 19th century -- when suburban "garden cities" were established around London's borders. The great early 20th-century visionary Ebenezer Howard saw this as a means to create a "new civilization" superior to the crowded, dirty, and congested cities of his day. It was an ideal that attracted a wide range of thinkers, including Friedrich Engels and H.G. Wells.


http://www.newgeography.com/content/001722-urban-legends-why-suburbs-not-dense-cities-are-future
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