Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Making It Up, Day by Day

Proposed David Brooks headline: "I'm so Smart. And Ahead of the Curve"

It is actually a fairly hilarious column. Brooks wrote a book on exurbia but couldn't reach his audience- exurbans. It seems the infrastructure and social network is not there yet. Instead he found himself peddling his book in old line urban centers- to audiences who Just Don't Get It.

I'm completely unpersuaded by the exurban myth- a breaking free from the city and clutter. Exurbs sound a whole lot like suburbs to me. More accurately, are exurbs not the suburbs to the suburbs? The suburbs have never been the jobless bedroom communities of lore (try Joel Garreau's Edge City, published in 1991, for starters). Exurbs add the twist that they are too far from the 'center city' to maintain regular interaction (jobs, culturla life, etc).

Paul Krugman's "The Spatial Economy" or even "The Self-Organizing Economy" (to highlight relatively easily approached texts) and the so-called New Economic Geography strike me as a far more interesting approach.

Like nearly everything Brooks writes, he is neither terribly right nor terribly wrong. Probably intentionally so.

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