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On the one hand, Richard Florida's cover story in the latest issue of our magazine, on how the crash will incentivize the reurbanization of America, and benefit mega-cities over exurbs and small towns; on the other hand, David Brooks' column today, on Americans' persistent attachment to the suburbs and the Sunbelt. These two realities aren't always mutually exclusive, as partisans of the Northern Virginian suburbs will be happy to inform you, but the tensions between them - which are culture-war tensions, too, because of the way built environments shape and are shaped by family formation - will define a lot of domestic-policy debates across the next few decades.

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Ross Douthat is a former writer and editor at The Atlantic.

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