Is Suburban Development inherently bad?

My question is an honest one.  This subject of New Urbanism v/s Suburbanism seems to be as polarizing as the Republicans and Democrats in Washington, D. C.  In all of my experience the loudest voices seems to come from the extremes of both sides. 

In my experience, those that are passionate about New Urbanism do not seem to want to compromise and acknowledge that other suburban forms of development should be allowed.  I have heard that this will “water down” the new urbanism code and cause it to fail.  In this instance, failure has not been properly defined for me, but many seem to believe this to be true.  Usually I get the sense that failure is defined from an aesthetic or operational standpoint.   

On the other hand those that are passionate about Suburban development feel just as strongly that the type of development prevelant over the last 50 years is working and should not be tinkered with.  I have heard many of them state that more regulation is not what is needed and that New Urbanism projects should be an option that is chosen, not one mandated.  These individuals many times have not taken the time to try and understand new urbanism and seem to be against it more out of a fear of change than anything else. 

The people we don’t hear from alot are those like me.  I believe that new urbanism is a great type of develoment that should be allowed and allowed more easily with updated codes from local jurisdictions.  I also believe that suburban development should not be thrown out completely.  There are many suburban projects that have turned out nice and that people love to live in. 

If both sides are going to dig their heels in and not be willing to compromise then we will get what we have in Washington – a stalemate.

About George Baker III

Commercial Real Estate agent, investor and developer.
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