Have you ever wondered why urban space has changed so much in the last 50 years? Sure, we got rid of car ownership. Cars are a big part of commerce. They make travel possible. People cannot afford that kind of transportation now.
But what about all the square footage given over to housing in U.S. cities? More and more of what used to be downtown has been pushed off into areas that are more limited in supply. This happened at the very same time Americans got older and more conservative, and were wary of what has evolved from living in urban environments.
That’s why, in my lifetime, I know much less about my neighborhood than I used to. I’ve seen the same buildings, that were homes to a generation of ethnic groups, shut down. Parking spaces became parks. But suburban and rural development continued, and land continues to be under-valued relative to its cost and usefulness.
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