The Suburbia Project
Many recent discussions on and off the Web have referred to Suburbia as a dominant contributor to our transportation difficulties in the United States, as well as in the countries that mimic its development practices. Indeed, land-use practices developed for the support of Suburbia may be the one greatest factor in the degradation of our environment and our cities both. Numerous theoretical surveys and statistical studies show how such practices lead to excessive energy use, pollution, and wasted tax money as we build ever more freeways, roads, aqueducts, sewers, and other infrastructure, in the effort to sustain suburban populations that are widely dispersed over former farmland or wilderness. The suburban dependence on the automobile, and specifically the automobile as a means of reaching high-paying jobs in the cities, affects the quality of life of urban dwellers even as it siphons wage and tax money out of the city itself. The city is bled to support the suburbs.
But there is more. Artists have for fifty years been decrying the effect of isolated suburban living on the souls of the suburbanites themselves. From the Man in the Gray Flannel Suit to the Valley Girl, from soccer moms in minivans to mall rats in hundred-dollar sneakers, suburbanites have evoked beatnik scorn, punk-rock rage, and journalistic dissection of every sort. The Suburbia Project will be a place for those who have done time in the suburbs to speak of their experiences in the first person. What we want to hear in The Suburbia Project is the story of your feelings about Suburbia, whether you live there now, grew up there, or have simply visited, however much or little, in the largest experiment in community ever devised. How does Suburbia make you feel?
Your responses can be in any medium that is suitable for expression on the World Wide Web: we will accept memoirs, articles, essays, fiction, or poetry. (If you are shy about writing, just send us a simple letter!). We will also look at photographs or other graphic forms, and possibly sound files as well (small, very small). We doubt we would have room for video files long enough to be meaningful. You can be for, against, confused by, or indifferent to Suburbia, but as long as you can express your feelings about it in some way, we will consider them for publication. We will not pay you--we don't pay ourself--but we will link your byline to your e-mail address, and between personal contacts and public expression of our feelings, we may begin to have an effect on how we, our fellows, and our children design the way we'll live tomorrow. Send your work to:
Richard Risemberg Editor, The Suburbia Project email@example.com
We would prefer you send plain-text files in Zip format, but you may also cut-and-paste the text into your e-mail letter. Visuals should be sent as .GIF or .JPG, as appropriate, but send a query letter before sending ANY images or sound files! The site will be updated irregularly but at least quarterly, and most likely monthly. We will send notices of any updates to all contributors.