"Suburbia is not a place"

Justin Davidson, writing for New York Magazine:

Suburbia is not a place. It’s not even a specific genre of settlement. Rather, it’s a morally charged word that covers everything from densely packed single-family houses, interspersed with apartment buildings and shopping streets, to airy desert settlements, still with that new-turf smell. Like cities, suburbs include an immense range of pleasures and social ills. Unlike cities, they are chopped up into so many jurisdictions, micro-markets, and demographic eddies that one development can wither while the next one over crows. That creates an enduring problem: Who would pay to overhaul connector roads like Route 110? Fixing suburban dysfunction is nobody’s responsibility, so everyone just sits in traffic, certain that this is the way it has to be and that nothing will ever be done.

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