suburbia – mammoth // building nothing out of something

Tag Archives: suburbia

suburban futures

At Next City, Amanda Kolson Hurley reports on two examples of contemporary suburban growth, Montgomery County in Maryland and the York region of Ontario, and ties those two examples into broader questions regarding the future viability of suburbanism: Dead malls. Zombie subdivisions. Metastasizing sprawl. Not a horror movie, but the suburbs circa 2014, or at […]

atlas of suburbanisms

[“Montreal: Percentage of residents who drive to work, live in single-detached housing, and own their homes”, from Moos and Kramer’s Atlas of Suburbanisms.] The University of Waterloo’s Atlas of Suburbanisms — a research project by the School of Planning’s Markus Moos and Anna Kramer — looks like a fantastic effort to understand Canadian suburbs on their […]

spanish bubble landscapes

[Suburban abandonia on the outskirts of Madrid, via google maps.] During the presentations at Visualizar last summer, one of the presenters (I think it was José Luis Muñoz Muñoz, but I haven’t re-watched his presentation, so I’m not totally sure) mentioned a photography project that sought to document the post-bubble abandonment of parts of the […]

a quick and unnecessary defense of density against some chart

Grist recently cross-posted an article by Per Square Mile’s Tim De Chant which mines an old (2009) study from the Journal of Urban Economics to argue that “only the steepest increases in density could reduce car usage”.  Unfortunately, I think that’s entirely the wrong conclusion to draw from the study. Here’s the key graph that […]

backyard farm service

[Plant compatibility diagram, from Visual Logic’s “Backyard Farm Service.] One of the unfortunate things that happens with competitions is that the best entries are often overlooked by the judges, and the ideas encapsulated in those entries then missed.  There are notable exceptions to this rule, like the OMA entry to the Parc de la Villette […]

kotkin contra khanna

[Sorting facilities at Port of Singapore in the foreground, downtown Singapore in the background; via flickr/Storm Crypt] Having mentioned Parag Khanna’s paean to a dawning age of mega-cities, I ought to also mention journalist Joel Kotkin’s article in the same issue of Foreign Policy, which argues — in near direct opposition — that (a) the […]


We’re reading The Infrastructural City.  This is week ten — after this, we’ve got Robert Sumrell’s “Props” next week and a brief return to the introduction the following week.  Fill yourself in, if that’s necessary. [An aerial shot of the Alameda Corridor amidst warehouses and distribution centers, from Lane Barden’s photo-essay “The Trench”, which follows […]

the shelter category

Magazine on Urbanism‘s twelfth issue, Real Urbanism, was released last Thursday; mammoth is quite pleased to have had the opportunity to contribute to this consistently provocative publication.  For this issue, MONU called for entries which “explore how people in the real estates business perceive and conceive cities”: “What do cities look like in the eyes […]

re-inhabited circle-k’s

[“Mini-Mart, Albuquerque, NM”; photographer Paho Mann documents the diverse array of stores that re-inhabit the empty shells abandoned by the national corporation Circle-K; the current lives of Circle-K’s include “a dry cleaners, a couple of florist shops, a tattoo parlor, a tuxedo rental place, several mini-marts and dollar stores, and Bridgett’s Last Laugh Karaoke and […]

polis on suburban cairo

Polis on the suburbanization of Cairo; not surprising, I suppose, given that suburbanization (particularly the growth of the past decade, pre-recession) partly proceeded from the collusion of governmental and corporate interests in America’s relatively transparent political system, that suburbanization in a country with a more corrupt political system would proceed from even thicker, more direct […]

ownership culture

[“Subdivision: Sunshine Acres”, by Ross Racine.] Thomas Sugrue, in a Wall Street Journal article on the American culture of home ownership from August: Every generation has offered its own version of the claim that owner-occupied homes are the nation’s saving grace. During the Cold War, home ownership was moral armor, protecting America from dangerous outside […]

avent and cowen on tysons corner

There’s a discussion about the economics and politics of urbanizing suburbia taking place between economics bloggers Ryan Avent and Tyler Cowen right now (if you’re not familiar with the two, Avent is roughly liberal and Cowen is roughly libertarian, though both are more or less independent thinkers).  It begins with this Washington Post article which […]

burn down the suburbs, and other comments on reburbia

Though I’m on vacation at the moment, I thought I’d chime in with a couple comments on our reburbia entry (posted by Stephen below) and perhaps articulate more fully some of the thoughts behind it: 1. We were as interested in articulating a series of comments on the relationship between designers and suburbia as we […]

future suburbia

Worldchanging has a nice feature extrapolating the future of suburbia from current trends, which has long been one of Stephen and I’s favorite pastimes. Excited to see what further ideas for said future(s) may percolate out of the Reburbia design competition, which just concluded this past Friday (results should be posted within a week or […]

a carfree suburbia

Carfree suburban living in Germany, as described in the New York Times.

the city we have

In a recent feature on Archinect, Will Galloway of Front Office (they have a blog here) discusses the predilection of architects for the wholesale urban renovation (which, despite the prominence of theoretical frameworks that intend to offer alternatives, remains the dominant tendency of designers, even those working within frameworks — such as landscape urbanism — […]

architecture without architects

Charles Holland points out how incredibly odd much of the architecture of the sort of ordinary housing developments that spot the suburbs of both the UK and the US is. Not exactly what Rudofsky meant by “architecture without architects”, I don’t think, but the questions Holland asks (“Where do these forms and materials come from?”, […]