For the Sake of Santa, Please Don't Build Any More Suburbs

Santa is sounding the alarm: "Christmas is in jeopardy.” What's making St. Nick a little less jolly this year? New analysis shows that suburban development patterns are driving up costs at the North Pole, say Paul Knight and Kevin Clark.

2 minute read

December 25, 2012, 9:00 AM PST

By Jonathan Nettler @nettsj


According to analysis conducted by the North Pole Research and Development organization, and announced at an emergency meeting at the United Nations, the work of Santa and his support staff is being stymied by the inefficiencies of suburban growth patterns.

"Before the 1950’s, Americans typically lived in either urban or rural environs. This pattern allowed Santa and his staff to organize a two-pronged Christmas Eve flight: the first prong took place in cities and the second prong took place between cities. In cities both large and small Santa had access to a large number of chimneys within a short amount of time. The R&D group referred to this measure as the “Cookies per Acre” ratio (a term Santa, until today, preferred to keep a secret, especially from Mrs. Claus). With these cities spaced by large swaths of agriculture, Santa could nap between the higher-density areas and put the sleigh on auto-pilot," explain Knight and Clark.

"Now, after decades of suburban growth, Santa and his operation is on the verge of total collapse according to the R&D group. As Santa spoke to a shocked assembly, he explained, in a not-so-jolly way, that suburban sprawl has been devastating to his Christmas Eve flight efficiency. He noted a number of challenges he finds in the suburbs ranging from the poor neighborhood layouts and total lack of connected street networks to the issue of not being able to tell one house apart from another."

Before concluding the meeting Santa implored the world's leaders to ensure more compact development - for the sake of the children. “Insist that your government officials enact regulations to support mixed-use communities with small, connected blocks,” Santa said. “This is the only way I can hope to continue my Christmas operation in the future.”

Friday, December 21, 2012 in paullknight.com

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