Sprawl As A Tax On Spontaneity

Lynne Kiesling

In his post inquiring why we organize our kids so much, I like the way Tyler Cowen put his hypothesis 3:

Suburban sprawl is a tax on spontaneity. And as more kids get trapped into planned networks, it becomes harder to go it alone.

I think there’s some validity to that hypothesis. I never lived in a subdivision until I was 14, though, so I may be biased. But I loved the freedom of outdoor exploration, although I did complain at the time because as an only child, it also meant that I had to learn how to entertain myself in the great outdoors much of the time.

3 thoughts on “Sprawl As A Tax On Spontaneity

  1. I did live in a subdivision as a child, but until additional development sprang up in the area there was always undeveloped land (“the woods” as we kids always called it) nearby. Since I grew up on Long Island many of the days not spent at school were spent at the beach; this was far enough away to require a family trip until we were well into junior high school. Traffic was limited compared to what it is today, and parents did not have to worry about where their kids were.

    Parents today seem to worry almost obsessively about where their kids are. I’m not criticizing; it’s a different world today and everyone is living different lives. But scheduling kids days outside of school, whatever else it does, addresses that worry quite effectively.

  2. Is suburban sprawl a tax on childhood spontaneity?

    Is suburban sprawl a tax on childhood spontaneity? [Via Knowledge Problem]…

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