Wasted suburbs

I’ve been walking around a lot more with having a baby and being at home working from home. One observation during this experience is seeing all the houses in the neighborhoods around mine and noticing how little they’re utilized. Large backyards, a screened-in three season room, decks with patio furniture, breakfast nooks, front porches, front yards, All just unused, or unused such a large percentage of the time. it’s as if 75% of these houses are unused 95% of the time. And this is at a time when people are home more than they normally would be. We should be using utilizing our houses more than we ever have, and still it seems most people have way more space than they need.

This seems to correspond to a phenomenon I’ve observed with vehicles. So many people have a large SUV or full size truck, but they don’t use that vehicle at full capacity 95% of the time. Most the time it’s transporting one person around town – ya know, like a bicycle could do except that biking is scary because you have to contend with all the cars and the infrastructure designed specifically for cars…. I digress. I’ve heard it said elsewhere that Americans buy their vehicles for their worst case instead of optimal case. I think there’s a phrase for that, but I can’t think of it. But houses too I suppose. How often do you need a guest room, really. A breakfast nook? Hell, I wonder how many houses could do without a front door. Plenty of people only come and go through the garage.

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