30 Nov '12, 12pm

Move a little closer, please: ‘Carbon Zero,’ chapter 3

Move a little closer, please: ‘Carbon Zero,’ chapter 3

It’s harder to be sanguine about the future of the outer-ring suburbs, especially the very fringe suburbs often called “exurbs.” Many of these suburbs are not only dependent on lots of driving, they were designed for it, top-to-bottom. In many cases, trying to walk their feeder roads and arterials falls somewhere between unpleasant and suicidal. Densities are too low to support realistic transit of any kind. The existing infrastructure, as crusading civil engineer Chuck Marohn points out, is unaffordable: These suburbs already don’t have the tax bases to maintain their spread-out roads and utilities and this problem will worsen as oil prices rise and the demographic shift towards cities continues. (Marohn calls the financing of suburban development over the last 30 years “a Ponzi scheme.”) Several million homes already sit vacant and unwanted in the exurbs; millions more m...

Full article: http://grist.org/cities/move-a-little-closer-please-carbo...

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