Why do liberals hate suburbs?

There are a great many liberal positions that I can understand, even if I may disagree with them, but there’s one I don’t understand the motivation for: what is the reason behind the liberals’ “war on suburbs”?

I think you’ll need to gather some evidence that there is a war on suburbs, or that hostility toward suburbs is primarily confined to American liberals in order to get the thread off to a good start.

Possible evidence might include quotes from well-known liberals (former Detroit mayor Coleman Young probably had some choice words) or Democrat legislation that disfavors suburbs.

The main reason why anyone would be anti-suburb is because of the problems associated with urban sprawl.

Mainly because they’re entirely automobile-dependent. For obvious and other less obvious reasons, we should be trying to phase out whatever is. There are other reasons. Check out:

The Geography of Nowhere, James Howard Kunstler

Home from Nowhere, Kunstler

Suburban Nation, Duany, Plater-Zyberk and Speck

Asphalt Nation, Jane Holtz Kay

What leads you to believe that liberals, as a group, hate or have declared war on, suburbs?

Note, please, that a handful of quotes saying something negative about suburbs from people who happen to be liberals does not amount to evidence that liberals in general hate suburbs. I am pretty sure it would also not be too hard to find quotes from people who happen to be conservatives saying negative things about suburbs, or come to that, quotes from people at either end of the political spectrum saying good things about suburbs. So far as I am aware, hated of suburbs is no part of any specifically liberal ideology (and, conversely, love of suburbs is no part of conservative ideology).

To crush them, see them driven before us, and to hear the lamentation of their women. Why else would one wage war on an enemy?

OK, so in other words, I’m joining in on the calls of “Cite?” regarding a “liberal war on suburbs”.

That said, there may be some reasons for liberal…mild disapproval of suburbs. They are generally considered environmentally inefficient compared with dense urban development, which pains us planet-loving global-warming-hating liberal treehuggers. Also, there’s kind of a chicken-and-egg thing here–I tend to think of suburbs as bastions of the GOP. Is that because liberals “hate” them, or do liberals “hate” suburbs because they’re bastions of conservative politics? If the latter, that raises the question of why suburbs are bastions of conservatism. Perhaps the suburban Mom, Dad, a commuter job, 2.5 kids and a dog, and lots of lanwcare lifestyle also tends to attract people who vote Republican. Finally, there’s the racially charged issue of “white flight” from inner cities to the 'burbs during de-segregation. That too raises chicken-and-egg issues–liberals disapproving of possibly racist city-fleeing neo-suburbanites; but also the sort of people who flee the crime and high taxes of inner cities (both perceived and real) being–or becoming–conservative, law-and-order-but-low-taxes voters.

And, here’s another reason – nothing to with the existence or physical layout of the suburbs, just their political independence from the cities (where applicable).

Because they represent everything that is great about America. Backyard barbecues, kids playing on their bicycles, mowing your lawn, private home and car ownership

Liberals want to destory America

Nassstyy American wholesssomeneesssss! We hatesss it! We hatesss it! :mad:

I am liberal, and I’m personally not fond of suburban living for myself, but I don’t “hate suburbs.” Have all the suburbs you want, as long as I don’t have to live in them.

I would guess that what you think you are seeing is more a function of demographics than anything else. The demographics (age, education level, income level, etc.) of cities and suburbs tend to skew one way or the other, so you are just more likely to find people who happen to be liberal and happen to be urbanists.

You can ignore them, but you can’t escape the environmental effects.

This is silly. You can’t say all liberals march in lockstep on anything, but this is as solid a correlation as any.

Suburbs kill the environment; they are individualistic yet obliterate regional culture at the same time; they are traditionally less ethnically diverse (and created in many cases by “white flight”); they are not friendly to bicycling and walking; they are unsophisticated and crassly commercial in their architecture; they lack most of the cultural amenities found in a core city. What’s not to dislike?

Actually, that’s the one thing they’re good for. Biking in the city can be scary, IME; I did a lot of it when I went to law school in downtown Baltimore.

I’m pretty liberal and you can sell me a city, ANY city, show me how awesome it is, the restaurants, nightlife, sports teams, etc.

I will then say, “Sold! Now point me to the nearest suburb of said city where I can live.” City living is way too expensive. My condo would’ve been priced $40,000 more, drinks are $9.50 instead of $7, buses, construction, sewer repair, parking, parking, parking… that’s a HUGE issue for me too. I don’t go to restaurants on Sunset in L.A. or Broad St. in Philly where I’m forced to valet it or find a lot that will block me in.

I understand some suburbs are more rural than others, but right now, the big, noisy city is 9 miles away, behind a mountain, and I’ve got trees.

No kidding. I could easily bike to the grocery store for a few things or the train station, or dinner, movies, etc.

Some suburbs are just bedroom communities granted, but many have thriving business districts that are easily accessible and have good restaurants, bars, and grocers as well as access to public transportation.

It’s not like the city has everything you need in a 3 block radius and no one ever drivers or takes a cab anywhere.

I also don’t see it. I’m generally of the opinion that cities = liberals, rural areas = conservatives, and the suburbs are the battleground or melting pot as you prefer. And even that’s a gross generalization. If you eliminate the rural areas, the city/suburb distinction is much more along economic lines and/or personal comfort with crowds and bad parking: both of which cross the political spectrum.

But while we’re on the topic, why do conservatives hate kittens so much?

Well, for one thing, they’re not nearly as tender as you might think.

Another reason is what you might call cultural. The – a – liberal ideal is a bohemian-intellectual-artistic scene like Greenwich Village in its great days. La vie boheme! Hard to envision something like that ever emerging in a PUD pod.

And that’s why conservatives hate kittens.

To sum up what several others have said, I’d say “diversity” is something liberals tend to seek/be more comfortable with. Most kinds of diversity – ethnic (in terms of residents), cultural (films, food choices, art options), and architectural – are greater in urban areas than in suburban or rural ones. Yes, ethnically diverse residents live in suburbs, but the density of diversity is lower – you don’t have to rub shoulders with so many people, and therefore you don’t have to encounter so many kinds of people.

I’d add the car culture aspect (mainly, but not only, for environmental reasons) as a secondary but also important factor.

Why don’t liberals “hate” rural living, then? Well, they do, culturally and politically (Vermont and parts of the Pacific Northwest and sacred bits of the desert Southwest excepted)…but since few of us can have a job that allows us to live in truly rural areas, it’s mostly a moot point. And aesthetically, at least, liberals do appreciate rural areas more than suburbs – and I’d say that aesthetics in general are something liberals, on average, are more inclined to care about than conservatives (more specifically, perhaps, an aesthetic appreciation for, again, “diversity.”)

We had a similar argument about this a few years ago. Not political necessarily, but definitely the race angle of it. There were some interesting observations (I got a little heated on pg 2 at the some of the members’ broad-brush statements* about the 'burbs and defended them with my own assumptions… with predictable results).
*One of the quotes: The suburbs are bland, sterile wastelands filled with racist white people who work soul-crushing jobs to buy electronics and uncreative landscaping.