Urbification: Taking the sub out of Calif. suburbs

Walking. Bicycling. Alternatives to Driving Everywhere. Social justice. Alternatives to suburban boredom and waste. And the infrastructure and technology needed to get there.

Saturday, October 04, 2003

SF Chronicle urban critic John King, who is "not a fan of sprawl," nevertheless wrote yesterday that sprawl is environmentally wasteful, but then so is our culture, so don't blame sprawl for the wastefulness. I disagree. Controlling sprawl is like anger management; people can continue to be angry, but by controlling their behavior, many problems can be avoided. Sprawl is behavior. We can control behavior, but not the temperment of people. Managing sprawl is managing very harmful and hurtful behavior. It's up to us, culturally, to deal with it. Not to simply throw up our hands and maintain that any transgressions we commit because of our culture are okay, because to do anything else wouldn't be true to ourselves. The real truth hurts, sprawl hurts, and the media should either not take on the role of apologists, or avoid the topic entirely. True journalism comforts the afflicted and afflicts the comfortable. It doesn't comfort the comfortable.

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