The fight against urban sprawl in Chicago

Symphony Meadows, Volo

The fight’s over. Sprawl won. No ifs ands or buts about it – sprawl kicked “but.”

My 132-mile day began and ended in Wilmette, with stops at Symphony Meadows in northwest suburban Volo and Carillon at Cambridge Lakes in west-suburban Pingree Grove. I traversed only a small part of Chicagoland, stopping short of its northwest and western limits, and 40 miles shy of its southern edge. Eastward along my trek lay scores of square miles of vacant land.

In Pingree Grove I met a woman who lives in what planners would consider a transit-oriented pedestrian-friendly neighborhood in the city. She was seeking a place where mass transit was car-pooling to the mall, and pedestrian-friendly meant a quiet walk past the golf course to the clubhouse.

Sprawl won because people favored it and continue to do so.

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