Recycling the Suburbs?

The question is no longer how to improve the suburbs, says Allison Arieff, but what we're going to do with all the leftover buildings and unfinished sites.
January 13, 2009, 2pm PST | Tim Halbur
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"For a long time now I've been obsessed with suburban and exurban master-planned communities and how to make them better. But as the economy and the mortgage crisis just seem to get worse, and gas prices continue to plunge, the issues around housing have changed dramatically. The problem now isn't really how to better design homes and communities, but rather what are we going to do with all the homes and communities we're left with.

In urban areas, there's rich precedent for the transformation or reuse of abandoned lots or buildings. Vacant lots have been converted into pocket parks, community gardens and pop-up stores (or they remain vacant, anxiously awaiting recovery and subsequent conversion into high-end office space condos). Old homes get divided into apartments, old factories into lofts, old warehouses into retail."

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Published on Sunday, January 11, 2009 in The New York Times
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