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Reason: You've said it's a fallacy that jobs are coming out to the suburbs. What about the edge cities that Joel Garreau talks about? Hasn't it changed somewhat?
Jacobs: It has, but it's very uneven as to where the people live who go to that work. The old Garden City idea was that the jobs would be there in the suburbs, in the Garden City. That very seldom happened. For one thing, if you have two breadwinners or more in the same family, they aren't likely to work in the same place. People change their jobs in the course of their life. If they're confined geographically to just the selection there is in their little town, it's tough. It's one reason people move to cities or move to suburbs where they can commute into cities.
It's a fallacy to think that you can eliminate travel by putting people close to their work. In a few cases, they will be. But all the accounts I've ever seen, especially after a lapse of time, they aren't working and living in the same place.
Reason: I remember reading that the hub-and-spoke kind of movement of commuters is not as common in cities. People live in one suburb and work in another, not downtown.
Jacobs: That's right, they can work in another suburb. Exactly.
Reason: Is it a straw man to say that if you live in a suburb, you should work in that suburb? Is that what they really wanted people to do?
Jacobs: That's how they were justified, often, especially the ones that were considered model towns. You really can cut down the need to travel and the dependency on a car, or on public transit, in suburbs. But it's not by trying to hope, much less dictate, that people will work close to where they live. It's by their errands. There's an awful lot of unnecessary travel. If people want to get a quart of milk, they have to get in the car and get it. This is especially hard on children, too, who don't have freedom, even when they are old enough to go on foot to this place and that. It could easily be arranged that you could do almost all your errands on foot. But not so, if -- again the question of monopoly comes up -- you have to have these monopolies called shopping malls.
Reason: And they are monopolies that are protected by zoning in many cases, right?
Jacobs: Yes, and also at the behest of their developers.
Reason: The fix is in between the developers and the local government?
Jacobs: Yeah, and people have gotten afraid to have commerce get outside of these monopoly prisons.
Reason: Do you think suburbs will evolve into cities?
Jacobs: They'll evolve into something, but I don't know what you'll call them and I don't know exactly how they'll resolve. But they'll thicken up, get denser.
Reason: That solves a lot of problems, I guess.
Jacobs: Sure it does. And that's why those people are crazy when they said what would happen to Portland. It was an argument. They were trying to stop it and they said any kind of baloney.