Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Suburban Sprawl in Sussex

Living as I do in a venerable city neighborhood, I am not confronted on a daily basis by the absurdities of suburban sprawl. Mike's Musings has an engaging post on the faux traditional developments springing up in Sussex County:
We have more than a few subdivisions with pretentious names like "The Enclave" or "The Preserves." Near my home, you will find Wolfe Runne, which we here in town refer to as "Wolf-EE Run-EE."
...
My current favorite (and I use that word advisedly) is "The Ridings at Rehoboth." "Ridings," I guess to highlight the horsey-ness of our area. Actually, the horsey area is a bit farther west. But we'll let that go.
Apologists for suburban sprawl argue that the marketplace is all the justification needed for the social ills of unchecked suburban sprawl. But, as we have learned through hard experience, markets aren't always right, as Ada Louise Huxtable writes in The Unreal America: Architecture and Illusion:
I do not deny the needs and tastes well served by those artificial environments that are as American as sliced Wonder Bread. . . But the common belief that they represent some kind of immutable, preordained, or universal people's choice, that they have come about through the true exercise of the natural laws of democratic taste and free enterprise, is a fallacy.
Mike links to an interesting blog, DenverInfillBlog, that tracks redevelopment projects in a city that is more than two centuries younger than Wilmington.

3 Comments:

Blogger catbird said...

My favorite McSprawl abomination is the cluster of monstrous starter castles arranged cheek by jowl (or is it dormer by gable?) at the intersection of Kennett Pike and Bayard Road. The development's name is an inadvertant but spot-on description of each bloated building and its equally hefty mortgage: Millstone.

1:06 AM, September 20, 2006  
Blogger TommyWonk said...

I often ride Bayard Road and Old Kennett on my bicycle, though I try to avert my eyes when passing the new houses. I'd rather notice the remaining trees and fields.

1:30 PM, September 20, 2006  
Anonymous Nancy Willing said...

Come over to my blog and see my latest report on development!!

6:21 PM, September 21, 2006  

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