For over half a century now, as we Americans bragged to
each other how great and wealthy and powerful we were, our communities
decayed before our eyes. As the rot spread, we turned our backs
first on our town centers, and eventually on the idea of community
Right now every sign tells us those days are done. Our cities don't work. A permanent shift in the cost of transportation means that the old patterns of development can no longer be sustained, while the bursting of an epochal bubble in housing promises consequences for the form of our towns that we are only beginning to imagine.
The way we learned to build has failed. The way we govern and finance our communities has failed. Now, in troubled times, we are faced with an unavoidable responsibility of re-learning the job of city-building from the ground up. Where do we start?