The False Debate Between Cities and Suburbs

The debate over urbanism often pits suburbs against urban areas. But the real debate is about walkable areas versus car-dependent ones, according to Christopher Leinberger.
April 21, 2011, 2pm PDT | Nate Berg
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Writing for The New Republic, Leinberger argues that auto-dependence is what sets places apart, and that even suburban areas can be walkable in the sort of "urban" way this debate has been framed in the past.

"Core cities are comprised of pedestrian-oriented urban places, how Jerry Seinfeld lived, but they also include auto-centric suburban places, like the San Fernando Valley in the city of Los Angeles or the Palisades in the District of Columbia. Likewise, the suburbs of those core cities include classic subdivisions and McMansions, like the home of Tony Soprano, but they also include booming places like Old Town Pasadena, Reston Town Center near Dulles Airport outside D.C., and revitalized Jersey City and Hoboken, NJ, on the other side of the Hudson River from Manhattan.

The issue is where are walkable urban places being built, and they are being built in both central cities and the suburbs surrounding them."

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Published on Thursday, April 21, 2011 in The New Republic
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