Friedersdorf interviews Kevin Drum about suburbia:
The problems with suburbia are also its greatest attraction: it's bland, safe, quiet, and sprawling. And, generally speaking, cheap. These are all big things that critics mock at their peril. When you hear people lament "cookie cutter stucco houses," for example, there's a condescension there that's really unseemly. The suburban middle class doesn't buy cookie cutter houses because they have no taste, they buy them because that's what they can afford. Hip, creative architecture is a lot of fun, but it's also expensive. A two thousand square foot ranch-style home built on the same plan as fifty other houses in the same neighborhood is pretty affordable.
Could suburbia be changed via policy? Sure. You can change anything via policy eventually. The question is: do suburbanites want change? And the answer, generally speaking, is that they don't: they like safe, quiet, sprawling, cheap, and kid-friendly. They may or may not like bland, but even if they don't they figure it's a small price to pay.
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