Friday, June 24, 2011

The Future of the American City

My friend Bob Barancik sent along the following link, which I think hit home at a time where I've been thinking about topics like this. Few civilizations have been able to sustain a leading level of reinvestment into their cities, infrastructure, etc. That is true throughout history and will be true for America. Just as other great civilizations decayed, so will's just a matter of whether it happens in 100 or 400 years. I imagine our level of angst is something like Rome 375 AD....

Bob's Summary: Orion managing editor Andrew Blechman interviews author James Howard Kunstler about the future of cities in an age of peak oil and obligatory contraction. According to Kunstler, Phoenix and Las Vegas will be "toast," skyscrapers will become massive liabilities, suburbs will turn into salvage yards, and commerce will look very different. Kunstler is quite certain that civilization will remain intact, albeit retrofitted with slow trains, sailing ships, and other blasts from the past.