Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Another View?

"Mr. Kotkin is an inveterate fan of suburbs too, soulless and identical though they seem to many. He sees them as places of endless opportunity,and reckons that telecommuting as well as the rising cost of petrol will invigorate many of them as more and more people opt to work from home. All of this potential for growth feeds another of America's great strengths: its decentralization, which cushions it from the effects of local economic shocks."

"Cast of Millions," The Economist, Feburary 20, 2010. Book review of Joel Kotkin's The Next Hundred Million: America in 2050.

What? I thought we had turned the corner on wasteful suburban, high carbon settlement patterns and gone over to the green side, energy efficiency, transit-oriented, walkable communities. I was just at a meeting of urban experts at which a speaker declared that the market had spoken -- and that walkable urban communities were the economic engine of the future.

Now Kotkin argues that the suburbs and all that space are a good thing and here to stay -- along with population growth,and that suburbs offer an economic refuge of sorts in the world of high gas costs. More people from natural growth and immigration along with empty land are key economic assets.

Never underestimate interia. And never think there is only one way to adapt to new circumstances. People like the suburbs.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

> as more and more people opt to work from home.

umm the problem is that dumb-ass managements don't allow it...they want to WATCH you in your cube.