Monday, August 5, 2013

Have the suburbs hit a dead end?


In her new book, “The End of the Suburbs,” Leigh Gallagher argues that the suburban way of life, once the epitome of the American dream, is becoming increasingly undesirable. Capital Business reporter Jonathan O’Connell, who has questioned whether Washington can grow up with its 20-somethings, chatted with Gallagher this past week about how Americans choose to live. An abridged version of that conversation follows.
O’Connell: Could you start by telling us why you think the suburbs are in decline?

Gallagher: The suburbs were a great idea that worked really well for a long time, but they overshot their mandate. We supersized everything in a way that led many people to live far away from where they needed to be and far away from their neighbors, and that has far-reaching implications, no pun intended. People have turned away from that kind of living. Add in the demographic forces that are reshaping our whole population, and the result is a significant shift. Census data shows that outward growth is slowing and inward growth is speeding up.
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