Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Connecting the dots--finally.

Preview of a paper from the Post-Carbon Institute that starts to draw urban planning implications from the conjuncture of the financial crisis and climate change.  It's obvious, really: suburban sprawl is a bubble, inflated by burning fossil fuel and financed by the home-ownership dreams of the American middle class.  Given the entrenched synergy between corporate power and the consumer economy, we'll be spending some time struggling to preserve or reconstruct some of these spendthrift patterns:  despite the GM and Chrysler bankruptcies, car ownership will likely continue to be a badge of adulthood, at least for American teenagers.  But the financial implosion has also created some room for rethinking and reworking, edged perhaps by despair (there's a bit of the survivalist tinging the Transition movement) but also buoyed by social hope.