Re: City vs. Country
From: Thomas Hackett (
Date: Sat, 13 Sep 1997 08:44:52 -0500
This debate has been interesting to me.  In the cohousing group I am associated
with this is an ongoing concern (since we haven't settled on a site).  We
live in an area where (small)city, suburban and rural possibilities all
exist.  The key issues seem to be convenience (sidewalks, services, 
minimized commuting), schools (the perception--exaggerated in my view--that
city schools are less desirable) and cost.  The cost issue is driven 
largely by town planning regulations which mandate two-acre lots.  Even 
though we could cluster, this would still require us to have 60 acres for
30 units.

I'm in the city camp myself, but consider it largely a matter of personal
preference.  Speaking of cities, I'm curious if others have read Jane
Jacobs' book "The Death and Life of Great American Cities."  Although
published in 1961, it seems to be relevant today.  (Disclaimer:  I'm not
nor have I ever been an urban planner.)

Fred H. Olson wrote,
>BTW a somewhat related historical note.  My ancestors came here from
>Scandinavia in the 1870's and many got land under the Homestead Act.
>In Scandinavia, most farmers lived in villages and and farmed nearby land.
>. . .
This difference between American and European developments seems to persist
today.  It has been quite evident to us in our brief visits to Europe, 
particularly Germany and Switzerland.  I personally find the clustered
villages and open spaces of Europe (what I've seen of it) more aesthetically
and socially appealing than our (sub)urban sprawl.  Again, this is personal

Tom Hackett     
thhackett [at]

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