On the Benefits of Streetcar Suburbs
Pete Saunders writes a fan letter, of sorts, to the streetcar suburb, which he describes as his favorite development pattern, and one that should be expanded around the country.
"This development pattern is called streetcar suburb, but it's not always suburban in the way we understand post-World War II suburbia. In fact, it's largely only suburban (as in independent municipality outside of a central city) in some East Coast and Midwest cities. There, places like Somerville, MA outside Boston, and Philadelphia's Main Line suburbs, as well as Shaker Heights, OH outside of Cleveland and Oak Park, IL outside of Chicago (seen above) are streetcar suburbs in the purest sense. They did indeed develop as suburban areas outside of cities yet connected to them via streetcar networks."
Saunders goes on to list some of the benefits that come along with streetcar suburb development pattern, including:
- They are adaptable.
- They are efficient.
- They are inherently multi-modal.
Saunders also promises a follow up post that examines the forms of suburbs.