Don’t Give Up on Sprawl
IN 1999, when the book Suburban Nation was still being written, it seemed that stopping the spread of sprawl might actually be possible. Two decades later, it is difficult to harbor such illusions. Most of the subsidies and market perversities that drove the initial suburban outflux are still in place, and too many powerful organizations still benefit from our dependence on cars and roads. Even though polls and price comparisons show that the auto zone is vastly overbuilt, the sprawl machine will continue to churn, sucking in farmland and fossil fuels and spitting out soulless subdivisions and ever more carbon. The data suggest it might kill us all before long. But while we’re still here, why can’t we just live in the kind of places we want?