Wednesday, March 27

Following-up my post on Monday about the Thomas Kinkade-inspired housing subdivision, here is a very well-written book review from Salon (2 years ago) that encapsulates many of the key issues in the debate over suburbia. On one hand, suburbia is a condition within which 90% of America (happily?) lives. On the other, it is a reprehensible urban form that uses too much land and fails to promote community and civic involvement. The two books, "Suburban Nation" and "Picture Windows" offer, respectively, practical and ideal critiques of the suburban landscape. The divergence of the critiques represents the inherent tension that exists for those (myself included) seeking long-term solutions to the societal problems caused by suburbia: Progressive developers and planners "ask what can be done, given the realities of the marketplace, and the academics ask what ought to be done, even if it's impossible."