American suburbs are fertile ground for design experimentation


The last twenty-odd years may have seen the remarkable comeback of cities, but the next twenty might actually be more about the suburbs, as many cities have become victims of their own success, notes The Architect’s Newspaper. But what is the cities’ loss could be the suburbs’ gain.

• There’s a market for vibrant mixed-use development in the suburbs.
• Even big box stores are taking new forms in the suburbs
• The urban and suburban landscapes are flattening, as suburbs are taking on some urban features and vice-versa.
• Demographic trends are upending the notion of class postwar suburbs. A recent study by urban planner Daniel D’oca and his students at the Harvard Graduate School of Design even called this phenomenon “black flight.”
• a 2011 U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service study that shows that 3 percent of all land in the U.S. is covered by “cities,” while upward of 5 percent is taken up by suburbs.
• If the affordability crisis in urban areas drives more people out of city centers, then maybe mixed-use centers could be located all around a periphery.

For the full story, read more at The Architect’s Newspaper.