People say that suburban and exurban housing growth is offset by a move to the cities. Wendell Cox looks at empirical data to prove that this is not the case, and deduces that people still tend to move to suburbia when they relocate.
Prefurbia: Reinventing the Suburbs: From Disdainable to Sustainable
"What is Prefurbia? This book is not another critique of sprawling American suburban lifestyles in auto-centric neighborhoods. It is not an analysis of missing cultural resources that could place suburbs on par with metropolitan cities; nor is it an attempt to social engineer through neighborhood design (however, good design can positively affect society). This is not another anti-sprawl book, nor is it a universal solution. Instead, this book acknowledges the needs and desires of the space-seeking home buying market (80% of the U.S. market) and offers exciting affordable-to-build neighborhood solutions that beautify and enhance suburban quality of life. It presents refreshing new design examples that result in distinguishable, warm, connected, spacious neighborhoods that actually reduce sprawl! The term Suburbia comes from the Latin Suburbium, Sub, below the Urbis, city which, in Roman days described dwellers who lived outside (below) the protection of the city fortress walls. The first modern notion of suburbia, the quiet, unspoiled outskirts as a retreat for the wealthy urbanite is today defined by Oxford University Press as ..communities located at the edge of the city and developed at low rates of housing per hectare. The provision of open space is a characteristic feature. However, many of todays suburbs are not quite the retreat once imagined, nor do they contain the natural spaces that once formed their character[;] in fact, they've become substandard, and the causal factors are targeted herein. Instead of a sub or below way of life, this book attempts to merge consumer lifestyle preferences with sound economics and good stewardship of the environment resulting in communities that offer a new preferred suburban standard, thus Prefurbia more accurately describes this new concept. While we include real solutions, this book is only meant to be a starting point. Like a land surveyor who describes every tract of land from a beginning point as the Point of Beginning, an anchor point that defines the tract of land, think of this book as the Point of Beginning for a new way to design, develop, regulate, and build the communities that continue to define the attainment of the America dream. A major problem typical with the suburban subdivisions of the 1950s and 60s is the featureless subdivisions that were designed to accommodate an automobile-reliant lifestyle, devoid of destination walks to scenic natural preserves or convenience retail. The biggest problem, though, is that this 50-year old model still represents a clear image of today's suburban landscape!"
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