If there were no suburban office “parks” then there would be less incentive to live in the suburbs and less incentive to drive EVERYWHERE. There would be more incentive to live in urban, energy efficient communities where daily interaction with people and a sense of community was common.
Source: NY Times
IN an era of concern about climate change, residential suburbs are the focus of a new round of critiques, as low-density developments use more energy, water and other resources. But so far there’s been little discussion of that other archetype of sprawl, the suburban office.
Rethinking sprawl might begin much more effectively with these business enclaves. They cover vast areas and are occupied by a few powerful entities, corporations, which at some point will begin spending their ample reserves to upgrade, expand or replace their facilities…
…suburban offices are even more unsustainably designed than residential suburbs. Sidewalks extend only between office buildings and parking lots, expanses of open space remain private and the spreading of offices over large zones precludes effective mass transit.
These workplaces embody a new form of segregation, where civic space connecting work to the shops, housing, recreation and transportation that cities used to provide is entirely absent. Corporations have cut themselves off from participation in a larger public realm.
Rethinking pastoral capitalism is integral to creating a connected, compact metropolitan landscape that tackles rather than sidesteps a post-peak-oil future. This requires three interrelated strategies. State and federal governments should stop paying for new highway extensions that essentially subsidize the conversion of agricultural land for development, including corporate offices. Existing infrastructure needs maintenance and renewal, not expansion.