Arsenio’s ESL Podcast | Season 5 Episode 94 | Reading | Suburbs of The Future

Here we are with a long reading (listening) that’s going to help you in a number of ways. The most important aspect of this podcast is understanding and identifying similarities and differences between multiple viewpoints. This can help you form a broader understanding of the topic being discussed.

Despite the lure of bright city lights, it is the suburbs which account for the highest percentage of population growth. We asked four leading futurists to give their opinions on the changing face of suburbia.

Sarah Kalensky, regular contributor to The Forecaster

As suburban populations grow, so too does suburban sprawl, leading to more and more people commuting into the city for work, shopping, and entertainment. However, the future looks different. Sprawl is making way for density as an approach to suburbanization. Developments aim to provide housing, offices, shops, and other facilities in one area so that residents are no longer required to use their own vehicles to get around and commuting hours are reduced. As a result, the cost of maintaining infrastructure, including roads, could fall by up to 50% per capita according to some.

New developments are likely to provide apartments and houses of varying sizes in the same area, which will allow single people, couples, and families all to reside there. However, properties will need to be affordable, a task which developers have struggled to accomplish in recent years. People on lower incomes have regularly been priced out of the market, making predictions in this area difficult. Even if housing is affordable at first, the longer-term impact may not be quite as desired. Once first-time buyers sell their property on, the price — determined by market forces — may be considerably higher than the original purchase price. The types of people who were originally able to live there are priced out of the market and the area becomes middle-class, with people from similar backgrounds and with similar incomes levels. Those on lower incomes or from different backgrounds are excluded. As well as price, construction companies must also consider the local geography before they commence with the construction of buildings, to ensure they are as ecologically sustainably as possible. Homes no longer need to rely on unsustainable energy to run — they can even be carbon-neutral, although this of course depends on sun and wind levels in the area. Companies must be aware that what works in one area may not necessarily be successful in another.

The rest in the podcast down below!

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