By Philip Langdon
Bringing up interviews with builders, planners, and citizens, the coauthor of This outdated apartment explains the relationship among standard smooth suburban designs and the emotions of neighborhood delight, whereas declaring the virtues of older designs.
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Extra info for A better place to live: reshaping the American suburb
One night when I was in Frank and Beverly's house, screaming pierced the quiet atmosphere outside. In the darkness the screaming continued for some time. The rest of the neighborhood remained silent. No one responded. It was as if everyone was pretending that nothing disturbing was happening. I learned that the screams were coming from a house across the road where an alcoholic woman lived Page 19 alone. The screaming in the night was not unusual; it occurred periodically. There is more distress in the suburbs than people like to admit.
Similarly on people in northern California. 9 million people, is developing long-distance commuting patterns increasingly like those of Los Angeles. The Bay area has generated suburbs as far away as the Central Valley. Karen Palmer works as a financial manager in San Francisco and lives in Antioch, a fast-growing suburb fifty-three miles to the east. Her household chores frequently pile up, and she often feels exhausted. The commute leaves her little time to spend with her daughter. "When she was little," Mrs.
The larger and more lifelike the video images become, the greater their capacity to disturb. Television makes it easy for the world's tensions and a commercial outlook about what is important in life to penetrate the home several hours a day. In a typical American household, the TV is turned on for seven hours daily; the tone and the content of life in its most intimate setting cannot help but be influenced by it. These forces would be potentially unhealthy under any circumstances. The great virtue of a well-designed community is its ability to offset some of the debilitating effects and to offer compensating sources of satisfaction.