As many of our cities and older inner-ring suburbs are being renovated and revitalized, the great challenge of our time — far bigger than urban renewal was in decades past — is to remake our many shoddily-built, far-off exurbs into denser, more- connected, more livable communities. Some of them — the ones that were built as much to keep the building boom going as because people needed to live in them — might be fated to shrink back into small towns or disappear altogether.
It is fascinating how intertwined urban form is with economic ups and downs. Never discount an urban trend, it just might return thanks to economic changes. Or better still, give rise to a new urban form that constantly adapts to our times.