Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Suburban Shrink

So I've been playing with the idea of moving recently. I love my house, love everything about it, except for one thing ... its location. (I know! First rule of real estate!)

I still love the actual neighborhood and the physical surroundings, but the morning and evening commutes are annoying, and getting more annoying as they get costlier.

When I first started looking for a house several years ago, I quickly realized I couldn't afford to buy in Midtown (what a surprise that was!) without buying a huge dog. Or two. All the houses in my price range were either next to meth labs or were meth labs.

Now I'm wondering if it wouldn't be better to move closer to the core city, meth labs and all. So I was interested to see this BusinessWeek Q&A with author James Howard Kunstler about how the oil crisis could mean an end to suburbia.

"Given the supply constraints, he says the U.S. will have to rethink suburban sprawl, bringing an end to strip malls, big-box stores, and other trappings of the automotive era. Kunstler, 59, predicts a return to towns and cities centered around a retail hub."

Kunstler thinks that we'll be in serious trouble within the next five years. Of course, the article notes that Kunstler predicted a Y2K meltdown, as well, so it might be he's just a doomsday-er.

But Kunstler's not the only one. Unless he was sitting in the booth behind me last night at The Cove, this is exactly what people are thinking and talking about.