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Reason Foundation

Suburbia Grows Up

Leonard Gilroy
February 6, 2005, 9:59am

Following up on Adrian's earlier post, Joel Kotkin had another noteworthy piece in yesterday's Washington Post. He points out that growth trends overwhelmingly indicate a strong American preference for suburban living and that rather than fight it, we should embrace an emerging trend -- the cultivation of a new sense of suburban identity: See more on Kotkin's view of the maturation of the suburbs here and here. As an example of what Kotkin is describing, look no further than yesterday's Denver Post (link here): While the evolution of the suburbs is certainly exciting and healthy for strengthening a sense of community, planners and policymakers need to be wary of stifling organic growth and dynamism through control and planning (think Jane Jacob's The Death and Life of Great American Cities). From the Denver Post piece: And our own Sam Staley adds this: Well put, Sam. Too much planning can inhibit the vital process of creative destruction -- the death and rebirth of communities, neighborhoods, etc. though market forces and changing consumer preferences. The best advice for suburbs is to not lose sight of this process by focusing too much on product or outcome.

Leonard Gilroy is Director of Government Reform


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