BUILD Blog


The Tragedy of Suburbia
September 4, 2007, 12:06 am
Filed under: Architecture, Urban Architecture

The BUILD blog got a hot-tip from good friend Ramiro the other day on a recent speech by James Howard Kunstler at the TED conference (Technology, Entertainment, and Design).

 

 

Kunstler gives a notable 20 minute dialogue on the tragedy of suburbia, here are a few highlights:

“The industrial city, in America, was such a trauma that we developed this tremendous aversion for the whole idea of the city, city life and everything connected with it. What you see fairly early, in the mid 19th century is this idea that we now have to have an antidote to the industrial city, which is going to be life in the country for everybody.

 

 

One of problems with the fiasco of suburbia is that is destroyed our understanding of the distinction between the country and the town, between the urban and the rural. They’re not the same thing, and we’re not going to cure the problems of the urban by dragging the country into the city.

 

 

[Suburbia] mutates over the next 80 years and turns into something rather insidious. It becomes a cartoon of a country house in a cartoon of the country.”

 

 

You can watch the full video here (and its well worth the 20 minutes):

http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/view/id/121

Kunstler

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[…] lecture, and there’s probably not much I can add to a lecture given 3 years ago and mentioned elsewhere since, so I’ll leave the video as its own testimony to the importance of design in creating […]

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