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Redefining Suburbia


An Equity Problem

Despite our love for cities, we cannot forget about the suburbs.

With more of our nation's poor being driven to the suburbs, there is a risk of accepting sameness, conformity and convention as the standard for suburbs. How might we tap into existing systems - unique to each suburb - to encourage increased human connection, vitality and culture?



We're aiming to design an "opportunity core" - a framework to densify and localize opportunities for residents in terms of both housing and employment. Its features will depend on the user research and the prioritization that results.




The suburbs were designed for the car, not the human being. As a result, the physical development of suburban commercial areas bear a striking resemblance across the country. When the idea of "walking around" is unheard of in the suburbs, something needs to change.

typical corridor illustrations

Our commitment to systems-thinking demands us to investigate root causes. With this in mind, our interview questions for users are shaped by some foundational questions that we ask ourselves as a team.

  • How can we prioritize humans over cars in the suburbs?
  • Can preferences for size and space compete with walkability?
  • When will the sense of human-scaled vitality/activity outweigh the comfort of one's own vehicle?
  • How can we make the business opportunity irresistible to companies looking to invest?
  • How can we make the change most seamless for residents? How can we reward residents for coping with the change?
systems diagram


Simple shifts can encourage suburban development that's less isolating, less car-dependent, and values human dignity. Instead of traffic being a measure of vitality, the visible measurement is human activity.

By using human-scaled values as the foundation for a new development framework, the next generation of robust suburbs will evolve.




Create zones with irresistible jobs and opportunities for locals. Allow zone to expand with the same density of opportunities.

Key Components:

  • More people per square mile, in places that make sense.
  • Proud existing residents and local businesses can show their commitment to their town through investment and ownership opportunities.
  • Outside companies or prospective residents have a simple process to invest in property and employees, with clear rewards.
  • Location of amenities close enough to get around.

Please contact us about how to get involved.

home screen image credit: Alex MacLean