Urban Planning

The reason suburbs are still being built despite decades of a lack of productivity and self-sustainability from these areas : urbanplanning

Just to be clear, the primary problem with suburbia is the lack of productivity seen in mixed use zones and the car-dependent city that’s created and results in an average loss of exercise, economic productivity, and increase of carbon emissions per capita. But that doesn’t actually explain WHY they persist despite this.

You might be quick to say it’s ”suburban” or “car culture”, and I’d agree, but I think we forget that the average person can be convinced that there is more than just suburbia that can be productive, personally fulfilling infrastructure in the right context. With development companies and every other entity that gets involved with planning suburbia, it’s not a matter of opinion or culture, just profit.

Really it’s that it IS temporarily profitable for the development companies, construction, etc. until everything is sold. The productivity for the rest of the city onwards is abysmal, but that short term gain is seen as good. Let’s say there’s 12 acres of land somewhere near the suburban-rural edge of the city metro. Either you could wait until natural development makes its way into the area before a town or city introduces shops, parks, and residential areas as demand grows into the area…or you could build a suburban neighborhood, cash out on the induced demand and relatively low price of a new cheaply made home allowing sales to go, and leave. The city also sees this as bringing in more educated people and an increase in property taxes as a plus. Of course, what we’ve learned is that we’ve gone way past the volume of suburbs that would have introduced new educated workers with a gain in city productivity. We’ve gone way past the meeting point of marginal cost to marginal benefit, and most of the benefit goes to contractors at this point.

This isn’t new to all of you, but I think it’s seldom worded in this specific way, so I wanted to be sure.

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