For decades land use regulation across the U.S. has emphasized single-family houses on large lots. This approach has priced many people out of the quintessential American dream: homeownership. I
This year marks the sesquicentennial of explorer Powell’s expedition down the Green and Colorado Rivers in 1869. Perhaps more than any other man of his time, he comprehended the limits of Western geography, and suggested that inhabiting the land would require a far different set of rhythms than those we had cultivated up to that point. He questioned the entire orthodoxy shaping the West during his age—an orthodoxy that is shaping it still.
Instead, we’re going to continue to do more of what we’ve been doing. And it’s going to fail. Not tomorrow. Not next year. But eventually the whole big pile of overly leveraged 12,000 mile supply chain debt-soaked tech extravaganza is going to break down and crash of its own dead weight. When we finally get back up and dust ourselves off, we’ll have no choice but to reinvent things.
The shopping mall is the epitome of America’s Suburban Experiment.
Saddled with traffic congestion and infrastructural erosion, can suburbia be retrofitted into a sustainable model of development and adapt to a post-oil world?
Has the United States finally reached peak sprawl?