A proud suburban resident defends her neighborhood from the criticisms of city-dwellers. It's not walkable, it's not perfect, but it's home.
Suburbs are much-maligned, and there are good reasons for that. But they are still home to untold millions, and a defense of the built environment we have is useful as a counterpoint if nothing else.
After all, suburbs are more urban than rural. Loretta Ellsworth writes, "I didn't grow up in the city or even the suburbs. I grew up in small-town Iowa. When I moved north to the Twin Cities metro, the suburbs felt to me like the big-bad city [...] I've discovered that every suburb is distinct and has its own personality. Too often those who know little about the suburbs group all of them under the same label."
While many suburbs are stereotypically white and well-off, today's demographic inversion is relocating poor people to the suburbs, where they risk being further written off. Ellsworth writes, "And as far as poverty is concerned [...] poor people living in the suburbs of the Twin Cities now significantly outnumber the needy in Minneapolis and St. Paul."
A suburban life can be interesting, and life can be boring downtown. While building suburbs may have been unwise in the first place, they exist, and people shouldn't be made to feel bad for inhabiting them.
Phase 1 Revealed for $20 Billion Chicago Megaproject
Plans for One Central, a proposed megadevelopment that would add 22.3 million square feet of buildings to the city of Chicago, are taking shape.
Top Websites for Urban Planning – 2021
Planetizen's annual list of the best of the urban planning Internet.
Survey: What Mobile Apps Are Most Useful for Planning in 2021?
Planetizen is requesting your input in creating the definitive list of mobile apps for professional, student, academic, or citizen planners—updated for a planning profession forever altered by the Covid-19 pandemic.
HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research
Rowan University's Department of Geography, Planning, & Sustainability
City Of Oakland
Hillsborough County Public Schools
City of Raleigh
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.