The following article appeared in the Vancouver Sun on October 30, 2015.
By Larry Beasley
Suburbs — they are the most dramatic phenomenon of city growth since the onset of the Industrial Revolution. Enabled by the mass availability of the automobile and growing household wealth, they stretch out over the landscape in almost every modern city as far as the eye can see and the mind can comprehend. They have a vast footprint and very low scale and intensity. They waste space; they gobble up nature; they homogenize the urban experience. Professional planners and city designers speak of them as profoundly unsustainable, impossible to provide with services, socially exclusive, and personally alienating. For the last half century, they have been anathema to any progressive, forward-looking view of how to build cities for the future. Even the name has been a negative expression: “SUB-urb”, less than a city, not quite what it should be, a lower form of living.