Deconstructing Suburbia

hopkins blogged this a while back; it took me a while to get to read it. but it is really cool. funny that i was thinking the same things around about the time when it came out (see “02”), without doing anything but experiencing suburbia myself.<blockquote>In The Geography of Nowhere, James Kunstler observes that the building of suburbia as a replacement for towns and cities was a self-destructive act, “The living arrangement Americans now think of as normal is bankrupting us economically, socially, ecologically, and spiritually. The physical setting itself–the cartoon landscape of car-clogged highways, strip malls, tract houses, franchise fry pits, parking lots, junked cities, and ravaged countryside–is not merely a symptom of our troubled culture but in many ways a primary cause of our troubles.”

...We've had only one way of evaluating the cost of cars to society and that is to quantify air pollution...Unfortunately, there are many repercussions that are extremely difficult to quantify. How do you quantify the social damage to a child who has to be chauffeured around for her entire childhood, who never learns to navigate her everyday world by herself? A 14-year-old girl who has never had to get home from the library by herself. The damage to millions of children over the last 40 years, in essence to their personal sovereignty... Alex Gavin...gave me a bad review in the New York Times..."Mr. Kunstler thinks we have a problem with cars in America. A lot of Americans would disagree with that." That's like saying: "Mr. Kunstler thinks we have a problem with heroin in America. A lot of heroin addicts would disagree with that."