In the wake of the recession, cities and suburbs are being knit into giant city-states, with millions of people and billions -- even trillions -- of dollars of business
A year ago, I published a book that argued that, for all the privations and dislocations of the economic crisis, it also provides us with the opportunity to make fundamental changes in our economy and society. I characterized these changes as a Great Reset, and I found similar moments in American history when new economic orders arose from the ashes of old ones, ushering in new eras of growth and prosperity.
Since writing the book, I've been able to see for myself what I've long suspected: that Great Resets unfold not from top-down policies and programs but gradually, as millions upon millions of people respond to challenging economic times by changing the ways that they live. The economic crisis has taught us the hard way that we need to live within our means, to forestall debt; it's made us understand that we don't have to define ourselves in terms of material goods, that we can achieve a more meaningful and sustainable way of life.
Watching the Reset unfold, it's been fascinating to see how quickly the once great divide between our cities and suburbs has been shrinking. The most desirable neighborhoods look increasingly similar, no matter where they are. The best urban neighborhoods are safe and have good schools; they are becoming strollervilles and toddler-towns, filled with families as well as singles. The best suburban neighborhoods have great commercial districts with restaurants, movie theaters, and all manner of amenities.