I got to thinking, with all the heaping of hatred on Wal-Mart about destroying small towns and encouraging sprawl, what really played the largest part of encouraging sprawl?
Wal-Mart, Interstates, or Zoning?
I kind of see the joint catastrophe of zoning changes the Government made to enable sprawling housing, that then needed an enabler which was provided by the auto industry, which then was further enabled by pouring Government expenditures into Interstates & highways, which then landed us with Interstates. This exacerbated the situation.
With a growing demand for ever cheaper stuff and the change in zoning and lifestyle changes based on the automobile larger and larger consumption volume was met with larger and larger stores. In turn we finally got the mediocrity that is Wal-Mart.
It appears, that it be a downward spiral to lower and lower standards. The majority, and key actions that kicked off the spiral I still stand by, where primarily Government actions to “engineer” a new lifestyle and to mitigate many of the problems post-WWII. Such as what to do with a market that had nothing for the 10,000,000 soldiers coming back from war, the plunging of the economy back into the depression which wasn’t truly finished before the war, and other issues.
Agree? Disagree? How did we really end up in this mess? Did people really choose cars & sprawling mess because of choice or where there other key motivators? Any other key indicators that lit of this ongoing catastrophe? How did we lose our transit, really? I still contend strongly, that the Government and NOT the market got us into transit unfriendly, pedestrian unfriendly, non-human, auto oriented lifestyle. What are your thoughts on that notion?