The Suburban Paradox

The attached article criticizes the effect of ‘greenbelts’ in Britain, and calls for ‘green patches’ instead of ‘green belts.’  The paradox is that a lot of what people move out to the suburbs for is precisely what these anti-suburban NIMBYs are trying to protect.  And, more to the point, when people do move out to the suburbs, they often join the ranks of the NIMBYs and try to pull up the drawbridge behind themselves.  I commented on this in my post earlier on “Why Non-Suburbanites Distrust Suburbanites.”  This is the paradox of suburbia, and there is no real way to resolve it.  The best idea is the ‘green patches’ that this article proposes.

In Orange County we have one true greenbelt, which separates the very un-OC town of Laguna Beach from the rest of the county [there are only three roads into Laguna Beach from the rest of the county], and I suppose the Cleveland National Forest, on the other side, is a greenbelt too.  Otherwise, we have a pretty good collection of green patches, especially in the south county; and there is the gigantic Blue Belt, otherwise known as the Pacific Ocean, on the county’s southwest side.

Related: “Three Cheers for Urban Sprawl” by Martin Durkin at

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