The 1980s and 1990s made up the era of the great dispersal. Forty-three million people moved every year, and basically they moved outward — from inner-ring suburbs to far-flung exurbs on the metro fringe. For example, the population of metropolitan Pittsburgh declined by 8 percent in those years, but the developed land area of the Pittsburgh area sprawled outward by 43 percent.It is remarkable how rapidly much of this change occurred. Still more remarkable is how we act like nothing has changed - this is the America of Jefferson and Lincoln and Roosevelt. In reality, this is something new and very possibly something fairly transitory. Read Brooks' column and see if you think something new is coming down the pike.
09 December 2008
David Brooks on on New Localism
In his column this morning, David Brooks cites Joel Kotkin's 2002 book The New Geography (which probably just jumped on Amazon) and the phenomenon of New Localism which he then links to Obama's new infrastructure investment plan. He sets the stage well for both his discussion of the plan but also our current exploration of our watershed: