Optimism for the Suburbs
James A. Bacon follows on a public appearance by Ellen Dunham-Jones, an architecture professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology and co-author of Retrofitting Suburbia, by making a controversial (these days) claim: that the transformation of the suburbs may be "more radical" than the changes taking place in urban cores.
In fact, writes Bacon, "real estate developers are reinventing suburban structures from the inside out."
"Shopping malls surrounded by seas of asphalt are being converted into town centers. Big box stores are becoming public recreation centers. Fifty-year-old shopping centers built over streams are being torn down and the waterways restored as greenways."
The bulk of Bacon's argument in the article, following the lead of Dunham-Jones, is that change is necessary, but also completely possible, for suburbs, especially along three broad categories (more detail provided in the article): "From single-use to mixed use," "Regreening," and "Walkability."