Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Sprawl In a Nutshell

Many thanks to my friend Geographer Jeff for this brief, encouraging video. It does not detail the problems caused by suburban sprawl, many of which I address elsewhere throughout this blog and on my sprawl page.

Rather, in seven short minutes, Rob Steuteville describes a few key turning points in the evolution of sprawl, as the suburban fraction of the U.S. landscape expanded over a few generations AND describes some ways that people are already working to undo the damage.

I am especially pleased that this video avoids a dichotomy that dominates the sprawl discussion. Rather than presenting downtown as the main alternative to sprawl, this video focuses attention on what can be done in the first-generate suburbs.

New Urbanism in city and town centers continues to be very important; but we ignore the potential of inner suburbs at our peril.


As the video above demonstrates, one problematic aspect of sprawl -- both a cause and a consequence, and thus an integral feedback loop. But the cloud of too-wide streets does have a silver lining: room for bike lanes.

Circulating People | Ottawa Bicycle Lanes Project from Ottawa Bicycle Lanes Project on Vimeo.

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