With more people moving away from central cities, we have the chance to avoid past mistakes and redesign the American suburb to be less car-centric and more diverse.
What if we reinvent the suburbs to be more sustainable? That’s what Addison Del Mastro asks in a recent piece on Vox. Del Mastro argues that, with remote work changing the nature of commuting and more millennials looking to buy homes, now is the time to reenvision what suburban life could look like and write a “second draft” that’s better than the first.
“The demand for something like urban living is real. Even at the outer edges of growing metro areas, mixed-use walkable developments pop up alongside familiar subdivisions and McMansions.” Indeed, “Between 2019 and 2020, the share of millennials who live in suburbs increased by 4 percentage points; and in 2014, more than 60 percent of immigrants lived in suburbs, up from just over half in 2000.”
As Del Mastro has written before, immigrant communities are transforming the strip mall and other suburban spaces to accommodate different uses and culturally relevant services. “The ongoing diversification of the suburbs is coinciding with the appearance of New Urbanist, mixed-use development there, and the renewed interest in suburban living following the pandemic. The makings of a suburban transformation are here.”
As Del Mastro points out, “Zoning codes were not really meant to be perpetual; master plans were supposed to guide their evolution over the decades, planning for and accommodating growth.” It’s time for the suburbs to embrace change, and for planners to recognize their potential to transform into more walkable, sustainable, and diverse communities.
Keanu Reeves Set to Play Daniel Burnham in ‘The Devil in the White City’
Planning is going to get a new level of star power as a limited series adaptation of The Devil in the White City gets ready for television screens in 2024.
Marrying Urban Identity and Economic Prosperity
A new book posits that truly successful communities have a strong economic base and a firmly rooted sense of place.
Surveying the Rising Trend of Office-to-Residential Conversions
With office vacancies climbing and a stubborn supply crunch driving up the cost of housing, some downtowns have emerged at the forefront of a new wave of adaptive reuse.
$2.2 Billion in RAISE Grant Funding Announced for Transportation Projects
The Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) competitive grant program, supersized by the federal infrastructure bill in 2021, just announced a new round of funding.
Colorado Workers Squeezed by Housing Crisis
In Colorado’s booming resort towns, even sleeping in your car has become an unaffordable luxury.
Did L.A.’s Supportive Housing Bond Fail?
Six years after Prop HHH was passed, the fund appears to be delivering on its housing construction goals in the 10-year timeline. But the measure is being routinely criticized on all sides.
Sun City Center Community Association, Inc
City of Mesa
Town of Gilbert, Arizona
This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.