August 29, 2013

Fodder for the Density Debate: "A Country of Cities" and "End of the Suburbs"

Peter Schottenfels praises a new book by Vishaan Chakrabarti called A Country of Cities: .

The book illustrates how better-planned, denser cities are the key to solving many of fundamental problems facing ACOC-FPthe America’s future. He presents density as a silver bullet for these problems and advocates for better urban policy on a state and Federal level. The book is exceptional in that because it presents a clear roadmap for how density can be achieved and financed; an area where many similar books are lacking.

Or you can just watch the video:


The Q&A session is important, too, where the qualifiers and the legitimacy of anti-density concerns are addressed, such as at 1:03:30.


UPDATE: While we’re at it, here’s an interview in Atlantic Cities with Leigh Gallagher, author of “The End of the Suburbs.”

You call the book The End of the Suburbs, but you add pretty quickly that it’s really just the end of the suburbs “as we know them.”

It’s not that every single suburb in America is going to vaporize. My thesis is that there are a lot of reasons why the suburbs were poorly planned and poorly designed and are making millions of people really unhappy. That’s happening. Those people are looking for and moving EndofSuburbs_maininto different kinds of options. Based on what’s happening with demographics and preferences of the younger generation, as you guys have well covered, those trends are just going to accelerate.
But to say that everyone wants to live in a 50-story skyscraper in New York City is not at all practical or realistic or in touch with how people want to live in this country. So a big part of the future will be “urban burbs.” Suburbs that are adapting or already exist in this fashion. Where they have a walkable downtown, a pleasant place to take a stroll and bump into people, and where it’s possible to live in closer proximity to the things you need to do everyday.

Posted in


If you love this region and have a view to its future please subscribe, donate, or become a Patron.

Share on


  1. I hate this meme of pretending a suburb with amenities is some sort of new idea.
    It’s called a town, or a village or a hamlet. There are well and badly designed ones of those too, but they are not some new invention.

Subscribe to Viewpoint Vancouver

Get breaking news and fresh views, direct to your inbox.

Join 7,254 other subscribers

Show your Support

Check our Patreon page for stylish coffee mugs, private city tours, and more – or, make a one-time or recurring donation. Thank you for helping shape this place we love.

Popular Articles

See All

All Articles