an aerial view of a city and a river

The first article I read pertaining to this issue explains the book Disillusionment, which gives light to the issues that suburbs bring by giving the accounts of different people living in different suburbs including older ones closer to each of the different cities and newer ones farther. Suburbs cater to the people who are searching for a place that is separate from problems that the city often brings, where everything is new and high quality and all is relatively affordable due to government support. However, as more racial groups seeking the same benefits move into these suburbs, even newer ones are built while the old ones are abandoned and fester in issues, like increased poverty due to maintenance, poor education, and racial discrimination. “The politically popular decisions to rely on developer levies rather than setting higher education taxes, and to invest more in highways to far-flung new suburbs than in mass transit in older ones, ‘encouraged us to cycle through a series of disposable communities…'” Suburbs support the running away of problems as those unfortunate must deal with it with meager results due to their great disadvantage. This is a negative feedback loop, because all that everyone wants is a perfect environment that is safe and filled with opportunity, which is what the new suburbs promise. But the building of new suburbs is a temporary solution that runs away from the problem and doesn’t face it. In the context of my research question, bad city planning, continuously building suburbs causes a new great problem. As suburbs increase in number, other city sectors become increasingly harder to access, putting more strain on the usage of roads and cars, and thus things that are important for roads and cars are prioritized, which just makes the bad city planning issue worse.

The second article I read addresses the same motif of issues in the cities of the United States, taking two separate books and pointing out their flaws to create the best solution in solving the issue of “hollowed-out” cities and the rapid growth of suburbs. People want suburbs because they are currently the most desirable mix of having ample space and having modern technology. Cities are currently flawed, as they are completely different from suburbs, as their character is vastly different, focused on economic sprawl, disregarding public safety, and receiving massive big-scale problems of older infrastructures. This issue is exacerbated as not only governmental support moves away from cities to suburbs but also the desires of the people living in suburbs stated earlier. There’s not much restriction beyond government regulation to building new suburbs, as so much land is available to low-density development. There is much favor to suburbs, so everything moves so suburbs, including cities. And since the city moves in, people want to move out. Suburbs are so favorable that they even thrive off in a dying city like Detroit. What is the solution to the slippery slope of continuous building of suburbs? Hornick states that the best way to approach this issue with a solution is to thicken the suburbs but only for local function and accessibility. “The thickened locations need to compose a web of subcenters that are linked to the city center and to one another.” This would maintain the benefits of the suburbs while introducing the benefits of the city as accessibility to services that the city provides.

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