Arcade Fire on Suburban Sprawl

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Arcade Fire’s The Suburbs isn’t as much about suburbanism versus urbanism, or cars versus bicycles, as it is a question of “What now?” The album’s vision of suburbia may not exactly be an ideal place to live – not in the 1980’s and certainly not upon returning to it today.  But the narrator of the album does return, nostalgic for his wasted hours of youth and fearful of what may remain for his children.  If suburbia is no longer necessarily the dream, what is to be made of those communities we built in the 70s?

Arcade Fire'a latest album, The Suburbs is one of the finest examples of city planning commentary in pop culture today.

[Link to Arcade Fire on Suburban Sprawl]

2 thoughts on “Arcade Fire on Suburban Sprawl

  1. Adam C. Sieracki

    The single driver of ‘urban sprawl’ today–as it was in the post-war era–is population growth. In Canada, 71% of this comes from our country’s eye-popping, half million annual immigration intake (250,000 permanent immigrants, plus the same number of ‘temporary’ ones). While PET gets most of the blame for opening up the mass immigration door, it was Mulroney who really opened up the floodgates, and Chretien, Martin and Harper have continued the torrent ever since. This is simply not culturally, actuarially, or environmentally sustainable. Inter-cultural friction is rearing its ugly head in Canada, despite the multicultists’ efforts. The huge numbers of elderly, sickly family reunification immigrants are threatening the solvency of medicare and OAS (esp. Bill C-428). And immigration-fuelled sprawl (GTA, Northeast Calgary, etc.) is gobbling up farmland and dangerously escalating water consumption. Yet the Smart Growthers cling to the fiction that infilling iner-city greenspaces and building more highrises will somehow halt the relentless anexation of rural land, or that installing low-flush toilets and water meters will arrest the ever-increasing use of water. The facts remain that urban sprawl is generated by population growth, Canada’s population growth is primarilly due to mass immigration and the entire process is only benefitting business lobbies (banks, REITs, developers and construction firms), for whom an endless increase in the warm body supply guarantees neverending housing starts and demand for associated infrastructure. If people want to ‘do something’ about urban sprawl, political correctness and the pro-growth lobbies have to be pushed aside, and immigration reduced to sane levels.

    • Black Mirror

      There’s a f’k load of space in Canada. People are coming to your country because its great. Love it.

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