TacomaGeekery

May. 20, 2009 at 3:04pm

Crappy Economy, Suburbia, and Walkability

Walkability and the waning of suburbia on Bloomberg.

Listening to my daily dose of podcasts, my ears perked up when talk of walkability and movement away from the suburban/commuter lifestyle came up. It was interesting to hear an economic perspective on the subject. A pretty convincing case was made for how this crappy economy may actually be helping the movement towards more walkable and efficiently designed cities.

I know this is a topic of particular interest among many of us, so if you're interested you can check out the interview/podcast here: http://media.bloomberg.com/bb/avfile/Economics/On_Economy/vp0FOgu_SPYQ.mp3


And while we're on the subject, feel free to chime in with your thoughts!

comments [4]  |  posted under mixed-use, tacoma, walkability

Comments

by JesseHillFan on 5/20/2009 @ 4:26pm
I tried to make my yard more efficient as a home owner and try to be more self sufficient.What I did starting 15 years ago was to grow a victory garden in case of possible economic turmoil.
My backyard is devoted mostly to growing crops so that I can eat and have less need of going to the supermarket as often.I have an enormous Raspberry,Cherry,Apple and Grape crop plus I grow vegetables as well.Heck I even have a nice producing lemon tree in my greenhouse.Yes,ripe big lemons from Tacoma Washington.I drive between 1,000 to !,500 miles per year well under the average milage by American drivers.As to work I don't do the commute.My place of employment is where I live.
The suburban lifestyle doesn't have to be abandoned instead suburban dwellers should be more self sufficient.You see those of us that grow our own crops will have food for ourselves in case things got so bad that there would be no food in supermarkets in case of a huge disastrous economic downfall.

by Nick on 5/20/2009 @ 4:55pm
@JesseHillFan

Funny thing is, that's exactly what rural life looked like before suburbia began. Just self-contained farming households that grew their own food and made money from home selling the extra to the city dwellers.

I think you've already abandoned the suburban lifestyle without realizing it :-D. The whole idea of suburbia was to try to have your cake and eat it too... make the big bucks in the city and live out in the countryside where land was cheaper and you could have a bigger house.

The problem being the whole arrangement had to be glued together with a car. Now that the car part is costing people more money and time, all that money saved by living out in the boonies is now quickly being canceled out.

by KevinFreitas on 5/22/2009 @ 6:59am
Seems the economy combined with gas prices on the rise yet again are catalysts for people in this country thinking differently. Walking and taking the bus don't seem so bad these days. On the idea of ditching the grass for crops, I'm so there. For me it's such a pointless bit of land that could be useful with something to eat coming out of it. I understand if families think they need lawns but to that I counter, take your kids to one of the many wonderful nearby parks. Imagine if they were bustling with kids like only seems to happen on school playgrounds.

by jenyum on 5/22/2009 @ 8:12am
Having a space outside for the kids to have unstructured play without having to get into the car and go to a park (especially since that means a mama can work in peace) is not to be undervalued. However, that doesn't mean it has to be a perfectly manicured lawn. At least, that's my excuse for the state of my yard. I am "encouraging biodiversity."

Tacoma's homes with small yards backing up to each other along an alley are awesome for kid play and interaction, though. I don't know why we'd want a bigger yard unless we were trying to grow crops. Our house doesn't feel like an island the way a suburban house does, collectively the neighborhood watches out for itself in a way that doesn't seem to happen in the 'burbs anymore.

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