That’s the question East Dallas resident Tod Robberson poses in his reivew of Joel Kotkin’s book “The Next Hundred Million: America in 2050”. His only attempt at checking the “pro” column for the suburbs is that they are nice. You know, the way Epcot is nice.

In the new suburbs, they don’t have annoying ice-cream trucks or neighbors who don’t pick up their beer cans off the lawn. But suburbanites have long commutes, expensive real estate and a bunch of stuff that’s not what they call sustainable. There are shopping centers destined to struggle once their novelty wears off, golf-course landscaping and 10,000-square-foot homes built to resemble someone’s idea of Tuscany or a medieval castle.

As Robberson puts it, “the suburbs will start to resemble high-class ghost towns full of abandoned McMansions and boarded-up Ye Olde Whatever Shoppes.”

Besides, I am convinced that neighbors are nicer to each other in the city. A friend who last year moved to Frisco got a note on her door before the first box was unpacked. It read, “We just want you to know that if your dog gets out of your yard, we will call animal control.” It was just a friendly warning, I guess. That’s how they welcome you to the neighborhood in Frisco.


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