Map from The Atlantic showing "Top 30" city population across the United States in 2007. A related article contemplates which cities and regions will benefit or wither once, if, the country pulls out of this current economic tailspin.
What will America's inhabited landscape look like, where and how will people live and move about, which cities and surrounding regions will thrive or wither after the clouds clear from our housing and economic collapse? (If they clear?)
Some ponder this post-crisis reshaped landscape, while others like small farmers already invent an emerging future that differs from the recent past.
In an Atlantic article How the Crash Will Reshape America, Richard Florida assesses regions and cities that will likely "win or lose." He thinks that some "mega-regions" with educated and creative classes will prosper, but old-line manufacturing and sunbelt regions that built false prosperity on debt-laden housing "booms" will implode. Suburbia and its housing bubble spawn, exurbia, likely will shrink.
An accompanying interactive map The Shaping of America examines trends in patent, income, and population across America to give a geographical sense of our stocks of past and current intellectual and human capital. In a related Q&A Florida ponders whether the recent "stimulus" package will just throw money after places doomed to collapse instead of focusing on building forward-looking infrastructure like intracity passenger railways that can create regional strength.
Earlier this month the U.S. Department of Agriculture released the 2007 census of agriculture, and within the data are harbingers that the "get big or get out" conventional wisdom espoused by Agriculture Secretary Earl Butz in the 1970s is being challenged by new farmers on the ground.
People are moving back to the land and reclaiming a connection to the food in their lives. Perhaps what goes around comes around, and as the bloom is off suburbia we will see a reshaping of the suburban landscape and continued growth in "subfarmia," more small-scale farms near cities that grow the food city people eat.