Three seismic shifts, in housing, transportation and employment, deserve blame for the fall of the American city.
Suburbs and highways, it seems, are always at the center of the conversation. The decentralization of jobs isn’t as easy to see; it has no well-worn symbol, like the green fields of subdivisions or the canyons of urban expressways. Perhaps job sprawl flies under the radar for just that reason: Skyscrapers, our most visible icons of employment, have continued to sprout even in otherwise dead downtowns like Hartford and Little Rock.
But that’s not where the jobs are anymore.