By Philip Langdon
Bringing up interviews with builders, planners, and citizens, the coauthor of This outdated apartment explains the relationship among ordinary smooth suburban designs and the sentiments of neighborhood delight, whereas declaring the virtues of older designs.
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Additional info for A better place to live: reshaping the American suburb
He and his family moved into a subdivision ten years ago when it was new. Like most new neighborhoods, it started with an exuberant pioneering spirit. Neighbors organized progressive dinners. They got to know one another. That spirit faded as years went by and houses changed hands. Households became more withdrawn from one another. For a while Jim worked to make friends with the newest arrivals in the subdivision. The area contained many corporate transferees, however, and no sooner would a friendship solidify than the friend would move away.
During three years of illuminating meetings, Patrick Pinnell shared his knowledge and suggested many beneficial changes in the manuscript. Anton Nelessen read the manuscript and offered useful suggestions. Portions of the manuscript were also reviewed by Philip B. , Walter Kulash, Dennis McClendon, Joe McElroy, Evan McKenzie, Ray Oldenburg, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, Ethan Seltzer, Richard Untermann, James Wentling, and David B. Wolfe. Their suggestions greatly improved the text. Any flaws in the text are my own.
Murray Bookchin argues in The Rise of Urbanization and the Decline of Citizenship that individuals isolated from one another are powerless. By contrast, individuals who form an active local society gain the ability to influence conditions. People coming togetherdiscussing their concerns, exchanging ideas, noticing how the others respondlearn how to handle many delicate situations. They map strategies that are sometimes remarkably complex. When they stay apart, with no gathering places and little informal mixing, they are often impotent to handle even the most elementary annoyances.