Check out my latest article in the May 2008 issue of Urban Land entitled Suburban Snapshots. Why write about suburbs? I’m an urbanist, after all. Well, suburbs are fascinating places and represent a huge amount of overall development. Plus, I was intrugued after visiting Dutch suburbs last year to see Columbia, Maryland and The Woodlands in Texas.
I greatly enjoyed Columbia and The Woodlands. In my opinion, they are superior places than their immediate neighbors, or many other suburbs for that matter. But Almere in the Netherlands, is quite mind-blowing. Besides the wicked-cool architecture (some would call it experimental), the fact that Almere has managed to get similar bicycling and transit usage as the urban core cities like Amsterdam and Utrecht is testament to not just good planning but an entirely different set of values. And that is a lesson from which we can learn.
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