Sprawl repair remains a somewhat controversial subject. North Americans should probably be further down the path of working out how to make better suburbs than they are. In America the economy has clearly held back experimentation with built forms that would represent a more mature kind of urbanism. Nonetheless, approaches to bettering the sprawl before it’s too late are on the books. This piece from 2010 acts as a primer on the topic and we read it with some interest. Counter-arguments appear in the comments after the article and they represent some practical issues. It seems also that there is a bit of an emotional backlash against the kind of improvements on offer by New Urbanists as too expensive, fake, unworkable, pseudo-European, top-down impositions. The YouTube clip in the second link transposes a sprawl repair effort over locations in Charlotte, NC. After watching, ask yourself where you would rather live, work and invest. As far as we can see, the problem with sprawl repair for North Amerca is only the vastness of the undertaking, not the concept itself. The adherents of sprawl repair better get busy and do a good job of selling what they’ve got.
Sprawl repair: what it is and why we need it Planetizen
image by suburban poverty using NARA photo of Phoenix via Wikimedia Commons