Can the Garden Suburb Save the Suburbs?

“Can Paradise be Planned?” asks Allison Arieff in a recent op-ed. The article discusses new books by architect Robert A.M. Stern and photographer Christoph Gielen to look for reasons for optimism with regard to suburbs and planning.
John Sternbergh Photography / Shutterstock

In Paradise Planned: The Garden Suburb and the Modern City, Architect Robert A. M. Stern and co-authors David Fishman and Jacob Tilove “want to bring back the garden suburb, and in so doing hope to restore a ‘tragically interrupted, 150-year-old tradition,’” according to a recent op-ed by Allison Arieff.

The question Arieff, by way of Stern, asks is: “Can suburbia shift its own paradigm to give them something similar?” According to Arieff, “Stern would say yes — that the garden suburb can do just that.”

“Stern sees the garden suburb as an antidote to the current suburban sprawl but also views it as a smart way to think about what he calls in the book ‘the middle city,’ neighborhoods found in cities like Detroit, for example, where, he writes, ‘now, virtually empty of people and buildings, [they] have no discernible assets except the infrastructure of the streets and utility systems buried under them.’”

Arieff also makes brief mention of a new book of aerial photographs of contemporary suburbs by Christoph Gielen called Ciphers. According to Arieff, “The only rational response to these images would seem to be, ‘What the hell were we thinking?’”

Full Story: Can Paradise Be Planned?

Comments

building block set

NEW! Build the world you want to see

Irresistible block set for adults when placed on a coffee table or desk, and great fun for kids.
$25

Prepare for the AICP* Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245

NEW! Get the "Green Bible"

Understand the complexities of planning at the local level while preparing for the AICP* exam. Find out why this edition is included in the APA's recommended reading list.
$105
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $16.95 a month