OK, the headline is a lot broader than this brief posting will be. (And there are links to some interesting reading at the end.)
But please indulge me in a tiny bit more on the suburbia discussion. Several commenters point out, rightly, that Levittown, one of the first large-scale suburban developments, wasn't a government project but a private one, and that's right.
However, if you burrow into history, you find that starting in the 1930s, when the government began backing mortgages, its rules specifically encouraged suburbia's single-family housing and discriminated against urban neighborhoods, especially those with racial or ethnic minorities. In thrall to "modern" planning philosophy, the rules discouraged mixed-use neighborhoods. Banks and other lenders wouldn't lend in areas that the government discouraged -- hence the phenomenon of red-lining, which lasted into the 1970s and 1980s.
None of that means that there isn't a market for large-lot suburban homes. There is. But that kind of development needs to pay more of its own way. And where were the wails of "socialism" when the government (and private lenders) were actively discriminating against urban neighborhoods, where you couldn't get a loan to rehab or add on? Read Jane Jacobs. Read Kenneth T. Jackson's "Crabgrass Frontier." Etc.
OK, new topic. Three interesting links:
First, a piece about the weird ways traffic works, courtesy of "Jumper."
Second, a link to a piece in Grist about Charlotte's transit system, courtesy of reader William Howard. (Grist bills itself as "environmental news and commentary."
And this month's Atlantic magazine has a piece from last November's CNU (Congress for the New Urbanism) conference in Charlotte on transportation.