It’s easy to think that because suburbs are being built and people are moving into them, that these are the sorts of places that people want to live in. It turns out that there are a lot of people who would prefer a small-town environment.
Here is a lecture by Andres Duany, an architect and housing development planner.
What stuck with me most were images presented early on, of one standard separate-use housing development and one old, mixed-use neighborhood. The second one looked absolutely more attractive, built on a human scale, and more expensive a place to live.
The other lasting impression I had was that the people who think traffic needs to be fed into faster-flowing arteries are probably the same people who thought that channelizing and paving streambeds was a great idea for flood control.