22 Jun '11, 2pm

The American suburbs are a giant Ponzi scheme

The American suburbs are a giant Ponzi scheme

Not real wealth, just the illusion of wealth. Photo: John "K" We often forget that the American pattern of suburban development is an experiment, one that has never been tried anywhere before. We assume it is the natural order because it is what we see all around us. But our own history -- let alone a tour of other parts of the world -- reveals a different reality. Across cultures, over thousands of years, people have traditionally built places scaled to the individual. It is only the last two generations that we have scaled places to the automobile. How is our experiment working? At Strong Towns , the nonprofit, nonpartisan organization I cofounded in 2009, we are most interested in understanding the intersection between local finance and land use. How does the design of our places impact their financial success or failure? What we have found is that the underlying financ...

Full article: http://www.grist.org/sprawl/2011-06-22-the-american-subur...

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