Note — Jun 28, 2020

The Pandemic Is Making the Suburbs Even More Appealing

My reckon is that we are likely giving too much weight to the pandemic in regards to the short and medium term changes to housing, and people moving to different cities / suburbs / the country. Regardless, some interesting thoughts here on the history of suburbs, public opinion about them, and potential changes to urban and suburban home architecture.

Sidenote: Bogost only alludes to it but the overlap of multi-generational homes, pandemic lessons, and work from home will be an interesting one to keep an eye on.

Along with federally backed mortgages and mortgage-interest deductions, the suburban lifestyle amounts to an enormous government subsidy. […]

A new gadget or appliance (and space to house it) produced an even greater sense of self-sufficiency—and more reason to seek out more space, and more gadgets. Suburban houses keep growing in part because they internalize more and more public amenities. […]

The spring lockdowns also proved that working from home while facilitating children’s remote schoolwork is extremely challenging. Intergenerational households offer more hands and eyes to watch the kids or manage mealtimes made incompatible by overlapping schedules. […]

Ultimately, affluence facilitates many of the benefits suburbia offers during the pandemic—it’s the difference between being able to benefit from Instacart delivery thanks to a work-at-home office job and working that grocery-delivery job yourself.