Americans want communities, not square footage

ImageSuburbs on the out? Perhaps, says design writer Allison Arieff, writing for the NY Times:

“The country could be moving toward something much better, something that’s less about consumption (of stuff, of such essential resources) and more about quality of life. Neighborhood groups have perhaps never been so strong a force, joining together to create an array of community-building offerings that make shared space the place to be (rather than the place to enter the garage from). Groups like Western Massachusetts Alliance to Develop Power have been building a “community economy” to address problems of jobs, housing and energy; the ever-expanding Build a Better Block shows that citizens care about their neighborhoods enough to begin to improve them on their own. It seems every day there are hybrid fix-it shops/cafes (instead of tossing that coffee maker, have a neighbor repair it and join her for a cup when it’s working again), sharing programs that encourage collaboration over competition (everything from tools to office space, babysitting services to garden plots) — even cargo-bike sharing (the latter to facilitate car-free, short-distance errands like food shopping), and an infinite number of smartphone apps to facilitate everything from easier use of public transit (Routesy or NextBus are great examples) or the effortless swapping of kids’ clothes.”


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