MinnPost (a new online Minnesota news site that is quite good) ran an article today on the growing malaise spreading throughout suburbia nationwide.
To most readers it will be just another in a growing corpus of economic gloom & doom stories that have been popping up over the last year or so. When read through the lens of peak oil and energy scarcity, though, it can be seen as confirmation of what Kunstler, Ure and other such folks have been saying for years now. Housing values down, tax receipts down, crime up, etc.
Is this the start of the decline of the burbs? I suspect the answer is ‘it depends,’ since the pain isn’t being distributed equally right now. Some areas are definitely suffering more than others depending on what state you live in, what businesses support the local community, and so forth. The fact that energy costs are being cited as one of the reasons for the problems affecting these areas is significant to me.
If this trend does continue, I think we’ll see more stories like this, this and this. As a kid born & raised in the burbs, the thought of seeing my former & current neighborhoods transitioning to slums is unsettling, but as energy prices continue to rise, I think it may also be inevitable.