The Option of Urbanism: Investing in a New American Dream by Christopher Leinberger
Americans are voting with their feet to abandon strip malls and suburban sprawl, embracing instead a new type of community where they can live, work, shop, and play within easy walking distance. In The Option of Urbanism visionary developer and strategist Christopher B. Leinberger explains why government policies have tilted the playing field toward one form of development over the last sixty years: the drivable suburb. Rooted in the driving forces of the economy—car manufacturing and the oil industry—this type of growth has fostered the decline of community, contributed to urban decay, increased greenhouse gas emissions, and contributed to the rise in obesity and asthma.Highlighting both the challenges and the opportunities for this type of development, The Option of Urbanism shows how the American Dream is shifting to include cities as well as suburbs and how the financial and real estate communities need to respond to build communities that are more environmentally, socially, and financially sustainable.
One interesting data point: if the whole country lived in a walkable urban place, comparable to the people in Manhattan, we would cut our CO2 emissions by 50%.
Leinberger includes a new list of 30 metropolitan areas ranked by the number of walkable places per capita throughout the areas – not just in the downtown cores. The Washington, D.C., metro area ranked first; the Tampa-Clearwater-St. Petersburg (Fla.) area ranked last.