Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Urban vs. Surburban vs. Rural

Since living where I do currently, I readily admit that I will either live in a very urban or very rural environment due to the sense of community. Everybody waves to one another where I live and Little League games are a Big Deal. I like knowing that if needed, the town would rally behind me. It's a very old-fashioned community and very republican, but none of that matters when your house just caught fire or you're broke down in the middle of town.

The same thing goes for the more urban parts of Richmond. I don't worry about running out of gas in The Fan because I know a gas station (or two) is within walking distance, food is right around the corner and finally they are realizing real street lamps are a good investment.

My feel from the suburbs is that everyone turns off their porch light at night, therefore effectively ignoring those around them. While I don't like my neighbors up my ass, I don't want them to be complete strangers to the rest of the world either. When I lived in Virginia Beach, which is one big suburb, we knew our neighbors and hung out with them often. But many of those in the neighborhood ignored everyone else. (I do remember a lady who rented the house next to us moved after 1 year because we made her life hell, :)

In case you're wondering where this is coming from, see Amanda's post on why she now wants to read a book by Jane Jacobs, Dean Dad's review of it (link within post) and her thoughts on the premise of the book. It's convinced me to read the book as well. Jane Jacobs seems to give us a very good reason to stop urban sprawl which I've been for since, well, forever.