In a recent article in the Atlantic, Christopher B. Leinberger writes about the listlessness of the housing market in the farthest-out suburbs of some cities and advocates for the nourishment of our urban and inner-ring neighborhoods.
He makes the point that this nourishment is necessary to our economic growth.
It’s a shame that in some places so many vacant McMansions sit on what should still be farmland. Regardless of location, slums are bad for the soul.
The magazine’s special report “The Future of the City” includes his articles, "The Next Slum" and “Here Comes the Neighborhood,” which you can read during this long holiday weekend at http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2010/06/here-comes-the-neighborhood/8093/.
Here’s a little of what he has to say:
“Urban-style housing in walkable neighborhoods—including those in the inner suburbs—is what’s in demand today. And for a variety of reasons, that demand will intensify in the coming years. Only by serving it can the country kick-start growth in an enormous and essential part of the economy.
“Yet the creation of new, attractive urban spaces is slow and difficult, and becomes all but impossible without substantial new infrastructure. Most of all, it relies on good transit options—especially rail links—around which walkable neighborhoods can develop. Rail, biking, and walking infrastructure is the backbone of urban development, and as a country we’ve for the most part neglected to build it in recent decades, in favor of new roads for new suburbs farther and farther away from metropolitan hubs. To support growth in the next decade, we need to change that dynamic—and nourish our walkable urban spaces and neighborhoods.”
Me again... Not sure where Pittsburgh ranks in achieving these things, but I believe are far above the low achievers. It gives us hope here at Walkabout to look at how far we've come.