Buildings and Spaces
Rural or urban. Both have suffered from the automobile excesses
of the past six or seven decades.
There are a fair number of people who would like to stop local
inmigration entirely, in order to preserve open spaces and rural
land. However, a more important factor in the steady encroachment
on the countryside has come about because of cheap and fast road
travel, permitting people to have rural or suburban lifestyles
with urban incomes. Modest landholdings that would permit small
farms aren't available for farming because farmers can be easily
outbid by the commuter class.
The central urban areas have tended to lose density as more and
more of the space once occupied by people is turned over to automobiles.
Rather than develop transportation alternatives that are more
space-conserving, the central jurisdictions have subsidized construction
and operation of off-street parking to compete with low density
suburbs. Even when the central cities don't offer the parking
as a governmental enterprise, they usually require developers
to incorporate large amounts of parking in their structures. The
result is the same.
There have been two bad assumptions. One is that there will be
enough parking for all that want it, usually for free. Second,
that parking will be immediately adjacent to the primary uses
on each site. These assumptions have placed a great burden on
building design and site layout, and have imposed a great cost
on high density urban development. If there is to be transit and
pedestrian oriented development, the place to begin is to change
Villages | Affordable housing