Keeping it Real:
Why suburbs should stay suburbs and core areas remain core areas.
I’ve noticed a recent trend in and outside redevelopment articles referencing “retrofitting” the suburbs and even a book called the Sprawl Repair Manual. I’d like to know when the suburbs went on the defensive. These articles and books speak mainly to the idea of altering the development and infrastructure pattern of the suburbs to look more like town centers. Minor changes to 1st tier suburbs of the 50’s to major overhauls of the exurbs of the recent decades.
My first thought is, why? Have we learned from history or are we bound to repeat it? We talk about what a waste of time energy and money we spent trying to make our downtowns look like the suburbs during the 60’s and 70’s. A trend we are currently working hard to reverse at a very high cost. The cities that fared the best were those who stuck to who they were…Savannah and Charleston. Now we are talking about making the suburbs look more like the core areas of our cities.
Too much money has been wasted making downtowns look like the suburbs during an earlier period in our history. The infrastructure expense will be enormous attempting to make our suburbs more urban. My thought is encouraging each segment of our developed areas stick with what they were originally developed as and improve on that. There will always be a segment of the population wanting the suburbs and those wanting a more diverse mix in the core areas.