Retrofitting urban sprawl: Learning from Monte Sacro

As gas prices rise, lots of people are wondering what will be the future of suburbia. Will it be able to recycle itself into more dense and pedestrian-oriented neighborhoods, or will it decay and turn into XXI century slums? A visit of Monte Sacro (Rome, italy) can be useful.

In the 20’s Monte Sacro was the typical streetcar suburb: a group of single family houses clustered around a main square, where the only multi-stores, mixed uses were, and where the tramway stop was. All around, only countryside and farmland. Then the city arrived all around, and Monte Sacro found itself as a center of a town of 200.000 inhabitants. Little by little, some single-family houses were torn down or retrofitted as multi-family houses, and the density has increased to the average of a downtown.

(sources: Reconnecting America, Dover Kohl, The Atlantic, Newgrounds)

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