Why even driving through suburbia is soul crushing


life in a subdivision cul-de-sac keeps children from exploring and becoming conversant with the wider world around them, because it tethers their social lives and activities to their busy parents’ willingness to drive them somewhere. There’s literally nowhere for them to go. The spontaneity of childhood in the courtyard, on the street, or in the square gives way to the managed, curated, prearranged “play-date.” Small wonder that kids retreat within the four walls of their house and lead increasingly electronic lives.

Source: Quartz


Why In-Town Big Box Stores Might Not Be As Awful As You Think


What if in-town big box stores encourage people to drive less? That is, after all, a major policy objective of smart growth. Plenty of people who don’t want a big box store in their midst still drive 20 miles to get to one. Why not cut out those unnecessary emissions? And if you could go to a Sam’s Club once a month instead of a Safeway every week, wouldn’t that get people out of their cars more, too?

[Link to Why In-Town Big Box Stores Might Not Be As Awful As You Think]

Driving Habits and Oil Price


In America, driving habits probably aren’t as inelastic as they are thought to be. This graphic [source] definitely shows consumers reacting to the oil price hike by cutting down on their driving. This summer given the gas prices is going to be a low-traffic one. We canceled our summer vacation and instead bought a Wii. Will continued rise in oil prices or even stagnation at this level modify our lifestyles and in the long-term create dense and walkable neighborhoods?