A rendering of Dockside, in British Columbia Credit: Busby, Perkins + Will
Look at many large North American cities and you see a sea of suburban houses. Sprawl has become the norm. But it is costly, damages the environment and affects quality of life. A new generation of planners and architects is beginning to look at sustainable, human-centered solutions to the creeping suburbs. There are several reasons for the rise of the suburbs. The planning structures put in place after WW II encouraged the construction of low-density neighborhoods. Low gas prices created a car-dependent culture. And most developers are resistant to changing the paradigm of the suburbs because it has worked for them. The four architects profiled in this series offer their own analyses of how North America has come to face this situation, and how it might be solved.