At long last America is starting to understand that progress isn’t necessarily measured by growth. We can strive for quality over quantity, reducing our carbon footprint, urban sprawl, energy use, pollution and waste.
Perhaps it started with the housing crash–Americans clued in that building McMansions cost more than they can afford to pay and consequently cost a lot to heat and maintain. New home construction trends show shrinking square footage, fewer bathrooms and more single story homes.
Cities are beginning to shrink their borders, recognizing that population shifts might be permanent and it’s a better use of resources (like tax dollars and sanitation crews and police forces) to give up the ghost of their former glory. NPR reported here and here about cities like Flint, Michigan returning empty neighborhoods to green space.
The ultimate sign of a different breed of progress in America could be this news: some parts of the country are reconfiguring freeway systems. In the ultimate stroke of irony, the rationale for abandoning freeways is to improve mobility.
Quality, not quantity. Are you seeing the signs, too, reader?