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Thread: The New Suburbia

  1. #1
    Oct 2001

    The New Suburbia


    I find this study absoultely frightening. I'm at the age where I could be a Patio Man but I find the entire lifestyle pointless and absurd. And I've only seen the tip of the Sprinkler City dynamic in the old Midwest. My fellow Americans are more difficult for me to relate to than the chimps at the zoo. I can recognize some of their behaviors in myself. What room is there for Planning in the new suburbia? What can you be besides a technocrat who approves the lot sizes for the new subdivisions? Developers have engineered complete lifestyles for hundreds of thousands of people. What a world...

  2. #2
    Cyburbian statler's avatar
    Jul 2002
    Boston Area
    I agree rustbelt. I found Sprinkler City and Patio Man to be really distrubing. I couldn't figure out if the author was making fun of them or sympathying with them. I can't speak for what this could possibly mean for planning professionals but I don't think it bodes well.

  3. #3
          perryair's avatar
    Jun 2002
    Even though this story only applied to the instant bedroom communities like Phoenix suburbs and etc., it still applies to a lot of the new suburban development taking place in other areas. This occurs here in Broward County, at the western ringes in Sunrise, Weston, Coconut Creek, Davie and many other upper/middle class suburban areas here.

    The most telling line out of that story was the one where someone was quoted as saying that Americans don't face problems, they run away from them. This is just the next generation of fleeing the old to get to the new.

  4. #4

    Oct 2001
    Solano County, California
    The orgasmic experience in purchasing a grill-God I about fell out of my chair laughing. It so describes a couple of my co-workers.

    I think he is both sympathizing and making fun of them.

    But, I can definitely see some of these attitudes in my friends (actually, I am more the snob described in the Bethesda-without the income ) The whole ultra-organized achieving childhood thing exhibited by many of my co-workers with their kids makes me thank God that I don't have any kids.

    It is certainly a very thought-provoking piece.

  5. #5
    hehe. I read that article elsewhere recently. It absolutely encapsulates Tampa's suburbs. I know, I grew up there.

    I feel that the article taps into a greater force to be aware of. It is the overall "numbing" of Americans to the World around us, and our role in it. The most concerning trait of the "average suburban American" is that they simply don't care about anyone or anything but themselves (even thier own families oftentimes). If the 80's was the "me" generation, then the 90's must have been the "me, ME MEEEEE!!!!!!!!" generation... There simply is little sense of communtiy left in this country on any level, and I just can't imagine what it will be like 30 years from now...

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Plus PlannerGirl's avatar
    Mar 2002
    Living in the DC metro area I was both laughing till I cried and looking hard at myself. I dont get the folks that live all the way out in BFE and spend 2 hours easy driving to work then another 2 home. All to have the little yard and good schools for the kids.

    I live not 4 miles if that from Gerogetown/Key bridge, and yes the inner burbs are full of way over priced homes, Volvos and BMW's, Ethiopian resturants and Starbucks on every corner it seems. Its a great place for a late 20 something to live, its not cheap, but the cultural opportunitiesare unmatched.

    Where ever you live in a major metro area there seems to be problems-for me I refuse to do the long commute and want to walk to my market for some milk.

    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin

    Remember this motto to live by: "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming 'WOO- HOO what a ride!'"

  7. #7
    Cyburbian circusoflife's avatar
    May 2005
    Seattle, WA, USA
    ...this is the logical result of extreme capitalism.

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