In the March ‘09 issue of Atlantic Monthly, urban theorist Richard Florida has a cover piece titled How the Crash Will Reshape America. It made me wonder what the long-term impact of the economic crash on Northfield will be. The lead-in to Florida’s piece:
The crash of 2008 continues to reverberate loudly nationwide—destroying jobs, bankrupting businesses, and displacing homeowners. But already, it has damaged some places much more severely than others. On the other side of the crisis, America’s economic landscape will look very different than it does today… Which cities and regions can come back strong? And which will never come back at all?
The time has finally come, some writers are predicting, when Americans will finally repent. They’ll move back to the urban core. They will ride more bicycles, have smaller homes and tinier fridges and rediscover the joys of dense community — and maybe even superior beer. America will, in short, finally begin to look a little more like Amsterdam. Well, Amsterdam is a wonderful city, but Americans never seem to want to live there. And even now, in this moment of chastening pain, they don’t seem to want the Dutch option.