Articles and posts that include a focus on issues facing suburbs, new and old.

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Nodes and squares in Troy plan

A Suburb Plans for Change

Troy, Michigan, is a spread out, auto-oriented suburb northwest of downtown Detroit. You’ll find many elements typical of the suburbs that boomed in the 1970s and ’80s. But Troy has felt the impact of the sharp decline of the automotive industry. A look at how Troy’s planners have responded.

view inside Hudson, Ohio, library

Hudson’s Star Attraction

How the public library has become the community hub for the town of Hudson, Ohio — and the key to a strong downtown and main street..

Planning ABC's illustration

U is for Urban Sprawl

Sprawl is not just a modern phenomenon. In a sense, American sprawl began with the horse drawn omnibus of the 1830s, which permitted the more well-to-do to escape to more country-like surroundings. But the nature of American sprawl changed radically with coming of the inexpensive automobile in the 1920s.

New Development, Traditional Patterns

New Development, Traditional Patterns

A dramatic shift in the design and layout of new developments has begun to take hold in cities across North America. Called new urbanism, this movement draws on older patterns of development. Planning reporter Philip Langdon provides an introduction to new urbanism.

Center-ing Our Suburbs

Center-ing Our Suburbs

Encouraging mixed-use centers is one way of reducing suburban dependence on the automobile. How existing underutilized shopping areas can be converted into such centers, providing a mix of commercial, office, and residential uses, as well as improved pedestrian and transit access.