Slumburbs!!

Damn!! I wanted to be the one to coin the term when I thought of it this morning after reading this Atlantic Monthly article The Next Slum. However, I found that the term was already in the Urban Dictionary. Oh well. Regardless of the fact that I didn’t create the term even though I had not heard it before, it seems to describe the coming situation all too well. The urban dictionary does not seem to note that this has two wonderful interpretations though, one is that the suburbs will become slums. The other expresses their sleepy and boring deathstyle in terms of slumber.

I must say that I cannot be happy about a large number of people in bad economic shape due to having their homes become either worth less or worthless. However, this may be exactly what it takes to end the dreadfully unsustainable lifestyle of suburbia and begin to move people into the less unsustainable lifestyle of a city center. New York City, for example, emits less than 1/3 of the CO2 per capita of the national average, as shown on page 6 of this report. City living is more efficient. People walk. People have public transportation. People tend to have smaller homes to heat. It’s all good.

So, if this is what it takes to get rid of the horrifically bad lifestyle of the suburbs, maybe it is a necessary step. I’m not sure how else suburbia could be destroyed. And, I can’t imagine how it could possibly continue. Further, the decline of the suburbs, while initially painful, will be a good thing in terms of lifestyle. From my point of view, and I realize there are others, the suburbs offer all of the disadvantages of living in the city combined with all of the disadvantages of living in the country with none of the advantages of either.

So, move to a city or move to a small town with a city center. But, be quick about it. If you’re not on the leading edge of the movement, you may be left with a severely devalued residence in a less than prime area.

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