Archive for the ‘USA Today’ Tag

American Cities Gaining International Influences

Suburbs such as Arlington, Va., bustle with high-rises and townhouses built alongside single-family homes.

"Suburbs such as Arlington, Va., bustle with high-rises and townhouses built alongside single-family homes."

According to USA Today, “Suburbs that had not allowed development to rise too high above the single-family homes that have shaped suburbia for decades are beginning to embrace the ‘urban’ in ‘suburban.'”

“The trend reflects the priorities of the times: saving energy, reducing traffic congestion, saving land, and promoting walking and mass transit.”

These priorities are becoming essential in current American culture, as its people realize it needs change. Interestingly enough, USA Today suggests that change has been influenced by not just Americans, but foreigners too. In fact, foreigners from developing nations may be the actual driving force behind suburbs embracing urbanizing town centers, as different cultures have grown amongst the urban culture where the moderately wealthy live in the cities, and poor either live as farmers or on the far outskirts of the city, with little access to city services. Living close to stores and having access to public transit were services that were extremely desirable in their homeland, as cities received continuous investment and upgrades.

“The shift from traditional suburbs to more citified places is fueled by the push for land and energy conservation. In Irving, Texas, the prospect of a light-rail line connecting Dallas, Irving and the airport is encouraging urbanized development,” according to Gary Miller. If Texas, known for its rebellious cowboy attitudes, gas guzzling pick ups and of course, George Bush, can install medium density transit oriented development around light rail stations, so can any other area of the country. Although you may believe you are “sacrificing freedom” by giving up your car, I believe you are giving yourself more freedom by living in areas that give you a choice between walking, cycling, or public transit. Limiting the use of car will also free you from the traffic, noise, air, and oil pollution produced by a complete reliance on cars. Besides, what’s more free than being able to reasonably walk places?

Max Stember-Young, Rutgers University Student Intern, VERTICES LLC

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