Back in the 1990s, new urbanism and smart-growth movements began advocating for alternatives to urban sprawl, promoting a cross-hatch of ideas from the simple, such as redeveloping along mass transit stops; to the more ephemeral, such as strengthening downtowns to make them more attractive to young, knowledge-based workers. Indeed, new urbanism advocates seemed to be ahead of the curve as Generation X entered the workplace and began taking up residences closer to the downtown core. Then came the great real estate bubble, and the trend line ground to a halt like a tram approaching a congested intersection. The availability of cheap financing, which pushed more people into single-family homes, spurred builders to create huge new developments further and further out into the exurbs ...
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