Duo Dickinson considers suburbia’s past and the changes on the horizon. “Life in suburbia requires a car for almost every adult residing in each home, who drives to work, drives to shop, and drives to find entertainment or meet up with friends. And yet this is seen as the ‘norm’ by most Americans.”
The growth of suburbia was fueled largely by the expansion of the highway system and automobile use, notes Dickinson. But now low-density suburban developments are not accommodating more recent social and cultural shifts and the increasing need for affordable housing.
Density is the new norm, says Dickinson, where land use and development are more sustainable, transit is accessible, and people can afford to buy homes. “The old suburban zoning almost willfully separated ‘home’ from every other aspect of life: working, shopping, entertainment. It is an anachronism. The future of suburbia is shifting to a place that might end up returning us to the 19th century model: fewer cars, more buildings and people per acre.”