Especially if you read yesterday's interview with Kevin Drum, wherein he gave a suburban resident's take on urban affairs, you'll want to look at this post from Urbanophile as something of a counterpoint.

Its an in-depth look at Carmel, Indiana, which has "one of the most ambitious agendas of suburban retrofit in the country, taking what was once a typical sprawling town in a more urban, dense, mixed use, walkable direction." The post is written from the perspective of someone who thinks that if suburbs don't adapt, their gradual decline is inevitable:

As early inner ring suburbs across America increasingly face decay, poverty, and crime, it is clear that the allure wears off these places once they are no longer shiny and new and people can simply move to another, newer suburb on the fringe that is. If most of today's boomburgs think their fate is any different, they'll be for a rude shock 30 years or so down the road. Most suburbs, though different in form from what she described, are basically Jacobsian "gray belts", and follow her observation that as a rule only the upscale hold their own over time.

But across America suburbs old and new are looking at different paths, some based in New Urbanism, others in different approaches, to try to build a different product, one that will still be worth living and doing business in when the growth wave passes them over.

Should this trend of suburban decline come to pass -- and it seems as though falling fertility rates make it marginally more likely -- I'd imagine that Orange County, California, and especially Irvine, where Mr. Drum lives, is going to be something of an exception.

I wonder if Urbanophile would contest that.

In any case, it's interesting to see what Carmel, Indiana is doing to hedge against that fate -- one that's also been explored here at The Atlantic in a characteristically good piece.