Earlier this year the Philadelphia Inquirer’s architecture critic went on a mission.
Out on the perimeter of Pennsylvania’s largest city she found what appears to be the beginning of contraction. Forty-five miles from downtown the housing bust of 2007-2008 is still evident. Serviced lots set out with flamboyant intentions for real estate development remain empty and the value of exurban fringe residential properties is in the basement. Transit-served inner suburbs appear to be surviving much better. The author, Inga Saffron, connects Philadelphia’s situation to the wider American picture in which the future of the suburbs remains very unclear in terms of popular preference and economic wherewithal.
photo: Massimo Catarinella via Wikimedia Commons