City-Loving, Suburb-Hating? Read This.


“Whoa. When we grow up will we get that big too?”

I’m planting a church near the University of Minnesota, just two miles from downtown Minneapolis. I’ve read a lot of the arguments for why the city is so great, notably espoused by Tim Keller’s article “A New Kind of Urban Christian.” I’m drinking the “cities are more strategic than the suburbs, and although I know the suburbs are still important (ahem) I really can’t understand why anyone would choose to live there” Kool-Aid™. (Burp.)

But a new article in The Economist says we’ve got it all wrong. Or at least we need to seriously rethink how cities and suburbs need each other:

Romantic notions of sociable, high-density living—notions pushed, for the most part, by people who themselves occupy rather spacious residences—ignore the squalor and lack of privacy to be found in Kinshasa, Mumbai or the other crowded cities of the poor world. Many of them are far too dense for dignified living, and need to spread out.

The solution?

…plan for huge expansion. Acquire strips of land for roads and railways, and chunks for parks, before the city sprawls into them.

Read “A Suburban World” here.

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