Growing towns like Reston, Va., have become more vibrant and attractive with every new restaurant, store or business that moves in. They're filling vacant lots and bringing more services to local residents. In the suburbs, new businesses and malls often replace farms or undeveloped green space.
In my Brooklyn, N.Y., neighborhood, I can find a library, doctor, drugstore, playground and bus stop within a few blocks of my home. It takes longer for some suburbanites to get to the end of their driveways than it takes me to walk to the gym.
At my in-laws' home in Brookfield, Conn., we can't get to a supermarket or gas station without driving 10 to 15 minutes. We usually take a small highway that connects strip malls and big-box stores.
It's great that people are rethinking a way of life that in Leinberger's words "isn't sustainable" environmentally. I just hope developers can find a way to meet the demand for urban housing responsibly.