This is not news to a lot of people, but the combined effects of
expensive gas, a weak economy, and increased environmental awareness
have started to put the squeeze on suburbs.
This doesn't mean that everyone is going to move into big cities, but
it does mean that future developments will look more like towns than
bizarre orchards of five bedroom ranches.
Much of the country developed backwards. Cities arose in isolation and
then people started flowing out to the burbs recently. Much of the
east coast, though, developed more slowly with many towns, a few of
which later swelled into major metropoli. The other towns remained and
were affected by suburbanization, but retained some character and
With luck, the current forces will reshape population distributions
into something more sustainable.