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High Gas Prices May Turn Suburbs Into Slums

March 28, 2011 Comments off

discovery.com

suburban sprawl

Americans rarely think much about zoning, but it governs almost every facet of how we live our lives. And unintended consequences of 50-year-old zoning codes may be about to turn some of our loveliest and quietest suburbs into the next slums.

Why? Simply because they’ve been built too far away from everything else, and we won’t be able to afford the gasoline it takes to go to and fro.

Suburbs: slums of the future?

At least, that’s the provocative conclusion of Peter Newman, one of the authors of a study released by the Planning Institute of Australia late last year.

The study looks at the future of suburban Australia, which has evolved in patterns very much like suburban America: sprawling, low-density, auto-dependent residential enclaves miles away from commercial areas and office parks.

“Urban sprawl is finished,” Newman told The Age. “If we continue to roll out new land releases and suburbs that are car-dependent, they will become the slums of the future.”

Following World War II, with the rise of affordable automobiles, cheap fuel and an increasingly Read more…