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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

"There has been a growing movement within the New Urbanist scene to Retrofit car-oriented suburbs. There is even a an excellent book on the subject titled Retrofitting Suburbia by Ellen Dunham-Jones. The book focuses primarily on retrofitting aesthetically unappealing car-oriented suburbs that were built in the 2nd half of the 20th Century.

Despite opposition from suburban NIMBY’s this idea makes practical and aesthetic sense. Your typical American suburban commercial thoroughfare is lined with ugly strip malls with massive parking lots that are aesthetically unappealing, ecologically unsustainable, and unfriendly to pedestrians.

Ellen Dunham-Jones’s model, influenced by New Urbanism would transform these strip malls and parking lots into mixed-use, walkable developments where people live above where they shop.

While it is easy to have disdain for these ugly suburbs full of strip malls and track housing, there are also aesthetically pleasing suburbs which tend to be either streetcar suburbs or small towns that later got absorbed by suburban sprawl. While these places have positive attributes such as having quaint, walkable, downtowns, a semi-rural charm, and access to wilderness, they are still for the most part based on the car-oriented, single-family home model."
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