Joe Urban | Sam Newberg, Urbanist

Five Steps Towards a New Suburbia

Dateline: 10:14 pm October 29, 2006 Filed under:

Even urbanists agree that certain improvements need to be made in suburban development, especially since suburbs will absorb most of the 100 million new Americans in the next four or so decades. We have to start to get it right more often. For those of you involved at some level with suburban development, this will be of interest to you. Last week The Planning Center, based in Orange County, California, released a report entitled “Five Steps Toward a New Suburbia.” Download it here - Five Steps Towards a New Suburbia. The report is a follow-up to last year’s “The New Suburbanism: A Realist’s Guide to the American Future.” 

This is exciting for me because I contributed a couple of the case studies that appear in the report, the bulk of which was written by Colin Drukker of The Planning Center and Joel Kotkin, an Irvine Senior Fellow at the New America Foundation. The Five Steps takes a measured approach to the planning challenges of suburbia and looks at how to improve it from an economic, environmental, physical, social and governmental perspective.

The case studies provide concrete examples of successful suburban development and strategies from around the country. More importantly, by offering some solutions, the Five Steps report gets a number of ideas out on the table for discussion. At least I hope so, but you’ll have to read for yourself. For more information, contact either me or The Planning Center at

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