Comment 21555

By WRCU2 (registered) - website | Posted April 18, 2008 at 06:38:39

Thanks for sharing this. I couldn't help but notice the word string, "not served by rail transit" near the end of the article:

But much of the future decline is likely to occur on the fringes, in towns far away from the central city, not served by rail transit, and lacking any real core. In other words, some of the worst problems are likely to be seen in some of the country’s more recently developed areas—and not only those inhabited by subprime-mortgage borrowers. Many of these areas will become magnets for poverty, crime, and social dysfunction.

Please allow me to toot the horn for Ryan:

BRT = poverty, crime and social dysfunction LRT = healthy environment and walkable urban living will give more people what they seem to want

It is an article with lots of meat on its bones about suburbia, Mr. McGreal's favorite contentiousness treat. And of course I sort of agree to its tasting of bitterness sweet.

In not so ancient times the healthy walkable living areas were within the core walled cities protected by the respectable Lords, Ladies and their entourage of archers and mighty knights. Outside the city gates, beyond the shadow of the nobleman's keep, on the fringe, were the peasants. The farmers and husbandmen eked out their pittance in the vast undeveloped fields surrounding the castle grounds guard.

The ancient model fared well when defending against marauding hordes. The poor farmer's, if they were lucky enough, could reach the walled central city core before the horde and could take up arms there in a cooperative defense of everyone's now threatened livelihood. Sure his orchards would be razed, his animals taken or slaughtered and his prime crops would be burnt to a crisp, but there was safety in numbers behind the wall and a chance to live.

The lucky farmer who made it to the gate in time had the privilege of fighting off the hordes right along side his king. When it was all over the king would pat the poor farmer on the back and say "atta boy, now on your way", and all the peasants would leave the central core to begin the long sullen journeys back to what was left of their meager existence and start over. But they had to hurry because the king required the taxes paid-in-full, in bad times as well as the good.

The title could thus be read, "Today's Suburbs, Tomorrow's Plumbs"

The farmer's reward as always, is another helping of the king's prunes.

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