Tag Archives: suburbs

(508) Resilience & global suburbanisms

BehemothBehemoth, the fictional, hog-sized, vodka-drinking and chess-loving black cat that accompanied Satan on his rounds of Moscow in the late 1930s came to mind when we read the tag line on an interesting online piece from York University.  From Bulgakov’s novel The Master and Margarita Behemoth was anything but a cuddly kitten.  Being revealed daily in a challenging world is the true nature of the world’s sprawl zones.  The sustainability and the level of resilience available to these places is an open question.
A good entry point to some of that discussion is reachable from the link below.

See also: (153) Atlas of suburbanisms

image: Behemot in Kyiv via Wikimedia Commons

(444) Millenials, cars, suburbs

IKEA SignNorth American popular culture seems to have generally accepted the idea that cities are hip again and that a move is on across the classes and age groups to get in on all the smart, urbanized, walkable, connected happiness.  The item linked below by a Vancouver, British Columbia-based writer adds some detail to our understanding of this movement.  Affordability is the thing.

Not all young people will abandon their cars and leave the suburbs

image: Daniel S via Wikimedia Commons

(441) Zombie subdivisions

Night of the Living DeadSeems in parts of the States there is a problem of so-called zombie subdivisions.  After the crash of 2008 many jurisdictions find themselves with property intended for development that is now in an underutilized state, a kind of limbo.  Surveys, road and utility connections, and structural inputs left in partial completion generate problematic legal, taxation, environmental and aesthetic issues for the communities hosting them.  The presence of zombies complicates efforts to move forward and apply creative thinking when it comes to meeting needs for housing, the collection of public revenue, and future planning efforts.  More importantly, they represent failure.

In an effort to propagate tools and best practices for remedying distressed subdivisions the manual linked below was created by two land use professionals at the Lincoln Institute.  A community trying to cope with zombies is well advised to start with this surprisingly interesting document which could help them prepare for future boom-bust cycles while reducing harm associated with the last one.

Arrested developments: combatting zombie subdivisions and other excess entitlements
64-page .pdf file

image: still from Night of the Living Dead (1968) via Wikimedia Commons

(420) A walk in the banlieues & a stop on the M1

signageWe’ve heard it said that to get to know a place you should take a long walk there.

And so we join UK writer, commentator and psychogeographer Will Self on foot, out and about, away from the centre of Paris.

Guy Debord’s The Society of the Spectacle. Will Self takes a walk through the banlieues of Paris and is astonished by the prescience of Debord’s 1967 masterpiece, which so accurately describes ‘the shit we’re in’

Or you could also sit still with a place through the full cycle of day and night.  Like this writer did for The Economist recently at a service centre off the M1 motorway.

Midnight in Nowheresville. On the road in middle England