Empathizing With Sprawlers

A Minnesota think tank looks to make practical improvements in sprawling communities.

"Ann Forsyth, the new director of the Design Center for the American Urban Landscape at the University of Minnesota," is trying to improve our nation's suburbs, while empathizing with their inhabitants' desires. "They have needs - financial needs and emotional needs - for a place they can afford, a place to raise a family, a place to be close to nature...suburbs are where the cutting edge of design is," says Forsyth. She is drawing on her research of "three 'new towns' designed wholly from scratch in the 1960s: Columbia, Md.; Irvine, Calif., and the Woodlands near Houston." In addition, her group's "projects include a digital image bank of urban and suburban environments that community groups and academics can use" to help them address suburban design problems.

Thanks to David Gest

Full Story: Urban designer explores the suburbs

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