Robert A.M. Stern argues for revival of the planned garden suburb

Architect says garden suburbs can provide affordable, diverse housing options in cities like Detroit

June 06, 2014

While demographic and market trends have bolstered the development of a dense urban core, architect Robert A.M. Stern says it’s time for a revival of the classic planned garden suburb. In his new book, Paradise Planned—The Garden Suburb and the Modern City, Stern says, “There are vast swaths of abandoned land that are not going to be redeveloped as skyscraper neighborhoods.” Cities such as Detroit may be perfect testing grounds, he argues, because the infrastructure is in place for a reinvention of the urban grid. “Suburbs are like cholesterol,” Stern says — both good and bad. Sensibly designed, the garden suburb can provide affordable, diverse housing options, he says.

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