City vs. Suburb

This piece on Slashdot back in February comments on Google’s and Apple’s choices to plant their mega-complexes in the suburbs; the debate? Is this good for our society, or bad? Should they have built their businesses in the cities where existing public transit options already were in use, or does using “Google Buses” to get employees to work make good sense?

As you read through the comments, you’ll notice how the dialogue swings back and forth between the poles of suburb vs. urb, with no little nasty frosting on top. These kinds of “us” vs. “them” debates have perennial attraction to people. It might be “town” vs. “gown”; it might be “red” vs. “blue”; it might be “white” vs. “black.”

But what if we understood city differently? Rather than an exclusive entity belonging only to a certain kind of place, what if we asked, “Is it preferable to live in the urban city or the suburban city?”

On this basis, as I see it, all people live in cities. Period.

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