Treehugger has certainly written enough posts complaining about the suburban development model and predicting its demise, but over at Inhabitat and Dwell, they are doing something about it. They are running the REBURBIA competition to redesign our suburbs.
They are "calling all future-forward architects, urban designers, renegade planners and imaginative engineers: Show us how you would re-invent the suburbs! What would a McMansion become if it weren’t a single-family dwelling? How could a vacant big box store be retrofitted for agriculture? What sort of design solutions can you come up with to facilitate car-free mobility, ‘burb-grown food, and local, renewable energy generation?"
But time is running out, the deadline to redesign the world is July 31.They ask:
In a future where limited natural resources will force us to find better solutions for density and efficiency, what will become of the cul-de-sacs, cookie-cutter tract houses and generic strip malls that have long upheld the diffuse infrastructure of suburbia? How can we redirect these existing spaces to promote sustainability, walkability, and community? It’s a problem that demands a visionary design solution and we want you to create the vision!
Enter soon at Reburbia
To whet your appetite: TreeHugger has posted on some innovative ideas for reinventing the suburbs before, and on the issues involved. Some favourites:
Andrew Maynard's Suburb-Eating Robots
End of the Road for the Cul-de-sac
"Cul-de-sac began as an old French hunting term: It translates, literally, as "bottom of the bag "– where snared rabbits were shoved, face down, to keep in the dark and restrict their motion." More in TreeHugger
Start Your Own Cul-de-Sac Commune
"A Cul-de-sac Commune turns a typical cul-de-sac (many houses grouped together around a dead-end street) into a hub for communal living." More in TreeHugger
Reinventing the Cul-de-Sac
Malaysian architect Mazlin Ghazali notes that "In developing countries only the very rich can afford to live in quarter-acre single-family houses located in a cul-de-sac. How can the cul-de-sac be made affordable for more people and for the environment? Can we have cul-de-sacs without sprawl?" More in TreeHugger
What Will Save the Suburbs?
Allison Arieff asks the question in the New York Times, and reminds us that we should no longer be worrying about how we are going to design communities in the future; Right now we have to worry about what we are going to do with the communities we are left with. More in TreeHugger