Suburban Nation: Chapters 3-5

The very shape of your neighborhood can help build or destroy your community.

“Community cannot form in the absence of communal space, without places for people to get together to talk… it is near impossible to imagine community independent of the town square or the local pub” (Duany 60). Independence is not welcomed.

If your neighborhood is surrounded by “repetitive subdivisions, treeless collector roads, and vast parking lots, the citizens find few public places worth visiting” (41).

Neighborhoods are now segregated by income, differing from the usual race, class, or by how someone has immigrated, allowing a sort of exclusivity to parade the neighborhood. There’s no true way to build your community if you’re creating a blockade in the way of diversity.Poverty-in-kenya3

Living within a neighborhood shaped with fear will allow selective interactions. “Apartments face apartments, townhouses face townhouses, and mansions face mansions”, without thinking about what’s opposite of their own (46). With poor community planning comes to a poor community.

Citizens should desire to interact with one another. Less driving, more walking. Driving creates an  “isolation chamber” that minimizes social space (62).

Citizens should feel safe walking amongst the streets. There should be an increase in pedestrian safety. The narrow sidewalks that a Suburban area provides, should be widened to efficiently serve those who may be walking. Create a neighborhood that will be easy to maneuver through.

Architects should create a “sense of excellence” when constructing their buildings because then a “feeling of enclosure and comfort” will be found, that is not in suburbia (76). It will help build the community, that can be so easily broken.


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