David King on not getting to stoked about the back-to-the-city numbers–or too down

He’s interviewed here in The Atlantic City blog.

One of the things that confuses me in this debate is that there has been little control for relatively urban suburbs–not the ones that are changing to grab onto the New Urbanism or other design fads/trends (whatever you wish to call it). I mean suburbs that have always been rather urban in their look and feel. So North Hollywood is a suburb. But it developed as a fairly urban place with its subway stop. Oh well. I suppose the hardcore urbanists would say that places like that aren’t fooling anybody. I live a stone’s throw from downtown, but it’s quiet place–single use and suburban.

He’s got a response:

One of the reasons it’s frustrating that you just hear about city versus suburbs is there’s so much heterogeneity of suburbs, that it’s really not fair to treat all suburbs as the same. Some suburbs are dense. Some are old streetcar suburbs. Some have been trying, through transit investment and investment in main streets downtown, to create walkable denser communities. This has been happening throughout the country.

It’s pretty clear I don’t get the distinctions that many make between cities and suburbs. Dave lives in New York, the urbanist’s jewel; I don’t. For a reason.