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Funding of Transportation I Told You So metablog Politics (Outside Austin) Urban Design When Neighborhoods Go Bad

Blandburbs and ‘choice’

Suburban sprawl is the only available ‘choice’ for most people – it’s not what they like, it’s the only thing they’re presented with.

Continuing my recent theme of pointing to other works that explain my thinking, here’s a quite good explanation of why suburban sprawl isn’t natural; isn’t the result of consumer ‘choice’; and isn’t healthy. Highly recommended. The only thing I’d add is the role of irresponsible inner city neighborhoods in preventing cities from doing responsible things to promote infill.

The idea that suburban sprawl is just a natural ‘choice’ ignores the reality that without the massive subsidies and regulatory restrictions which prevent anything ELSE from being built, a large minority of current suburbanites would actually live in neighborhoods like mine. All you need to do is see how cities developed before WWII, i.e., before the advent of both zoning and automobile subsidies (when there were plenty of cars, just not massive subsidies for their use by suburbanites).

I promise I’ll get to my Pfluger Bridge stuff next week.1.


  1. 2017 Update: I never did