Political and philosophical conservatives in the United States are far more likely to live in rural areas or suburbs than in the city — and that augurs ill for the conservative movement and for America, observes Michael Hendrix, in the inaugural guest blog post in a new blog, “New Urbs.”
Cities are the centers of wealth creation and cultural influence in the modern world. By concentrating disproportionately in small towns and rural homesteads, conservatives isolate themselves from the institutions that dominate the country. “If conservatives feel like they’re on the outside looking in on culture-making now, just wait a decade or so—it’ll get worse,” Hendrix writes. “Both for our culture’s sake and our own, conservatives should learn to stop worrying and love the city.”
If Hendrix’s contribution is any indication, New Urbs is likely to make a lively contribution to the small but growing ranks of conservatives who advocate development of more compact, urbane, fiscally sustainable communities.
The blog is an initiative of The American Conservative. Explains Associate Editor Jonathan Coppage:
This is an emerging discussion on the right, and we’re excited to take a leading role in pushing it forward. Talk of conservative reform can only get so far before it accounts for the actual ways in which people live. Transit, development, zoning codes all shape our culture, and are ripe for conservative engagement. Conservatives have too often neglected cities to their own disadvantage. We aim to fix that.
Keep it coming!
Update: I just came across by a great essay by Matt Lewis (a denizen of Alexandria) explaining why New Urbanism (an urban design movement which bears much in common with Smart Growth) “isn’t just for liberals.” Conservatives, he argues, should embrace it, too.