04 February 2009

Recycling the Suburbs?

At The New York Times yesterday there was an interesting piece by Allison Arieff entitled "Saving the Suburbs, Part 2." As her title implies Arieff had published an earlier installment called "What Will Save the Suburbs?". I'd missed it when it first appeared, but you can find it here. Arieff speculates on design strategies that might in a real sense recycle suburban spaces in user-friendly, greener, economically viable ways. In the process she refers to a whole slew of studies and proposals - "ideas" - for how to turn commercial dis-investment and real estate crisis to useful ends. I have since my college days been fascinated by these sots of ideas. But I also agree with the reader who commented that the design ideas tend to be class-blind. Among the most problematic aspects of suburbia in the U.S. is that it typically embodies quite pronounced economic and racial homogeneity and segregation. I see that not as an insurmountable obstacle but as a challenge - a problem that perhaps Arieff might address.

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2 Comments:

Blogger Patty said...

I came across your site by accident. As a photographer, I had hoped to find some more photos, but I enjoyed everything you wrote. Well, I did not read everything, but I will come back and read more.

You have very interesting views.

I like your House Rules, too. My blog is new - I hope I don't have to go that way, but there is always someone who is going to mess up a good thing. Perhaps we need a blog on that :)

04 February, 2009 19:41  
Blogger Jim Johnson said...

Patty, Thanks for stopping by; I hope you come back. And thanks for the encouragement. I took a too quick tour of you web site - lots of good work you've done. I'll try to get back and poke around a bit soon. Best, JJ

05 February, 2009 00:23  

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