Time magazine have published an excerpt from an upcoming book about the fall of suburbia in America:

In 2011, for the first time in nearly a hundred years, the rate of urban population growth outpaced suburban growth, reversing a trend that held steady for every decade since the invention of the automobile. In several metropolitan areas, building activity that was once concentrated in the suburban fringe has now shifted to what planners call the “urban core,” while demand for large single-family homes that characterize our modern suburbs is dwindling.

Now I know that this isn’t the first time such ideas have been discussed – but the discussion seems to have eluded Christchurch. The immediate demand for rehousing people displaced from the east seems to only be possible by spreading west and north across the plains, into the endless suburbia that America is starting to pull-back from.

On Monday, I went and saw a lecture from Dr Susan Krumdieck, on her plan for a new, dense Riccarton. Some of her talks are up on her Youtube channel – though the one from Monday isn’t yet. She argues for an intensification of housing, and has selected Riccarton as an example. While I think it’s a great idea, I’m not sure how it’s going to happen. I’d suggest situating the project in the CBD – say, where the stadium is meant to go – rather than bulldozing a suburb to rebuild a new one. 

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