A year ago when we wrote about Christopher Leinberger's Atlantic article The Next Slum? about the end of the suburbs, commenters wrote:
What a bunch of elitist drivel. The suburbs are not going to turn into slums any time soon. Where are people going to live?
Now there are over eighteen million empty houses in the USA, 22% of them have negative equity, (half of them in the west) and the banks are knocking them down.
Richard Florida writes:
Long ago, I asked my colleague, the esteemed urbanist and architect David Lewis, what he thought was the biggest issue of urban revitalization of our time. He responded without hesitation that the eventual decline of sprawling, shoddily constructed, exurban communities would make the urban cores of cities like Philadelphia or even Detroit - with their compact infrastructure, dense neighborhood footprints, and authentic and historic structures - look like a walk in the park. Not to mention that this entire development cycle is a giant waste of resources and a potential drag on long-run economic competitiveness and prosperity.
We may not flatten the suburbs for farmland and all move to Detroit and Philadelphia, but it is really difficult to imagine it all going back to business as usual.
More on the death of the suburbs and the move back to the City:
Incredible Panorama of a Street in Detroit
The Move to Detroit for the $100 House
Detroit Charity Turns Wasteland into Farms
Sprawl is the Death Of Us All
Cleveland as Harbinger of Things to Come?
Time to Move to Detroit?
What Will Save the Suburbs?
Eight Ways to Build a Better House when They Start Building Houses Again