System effects bring debate

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Systemic interconnections

Sprawl sits aside a flow that it tries to feed off and defend itself from, but which it must in the end acknowledge as never totally controllable. So, system effects become a necessary topic for dialogue. There are always other, parasitic systems, rival systems: subterranean connections, forgotten relationships, other systems of distribution, rival nets. The flow of resources and energies allows odd systems and odd grammars to flourish in suburbia. Systems penetrate places, in part making them possible and in part restricting them. This means that systems and their causal sequences must become a topic for dialogue and interaction. Usually this happens when there is scarcity: who gets the water, do we need to build more sewers, don't put that power plant in my back yard.

Discussing these topics inevitably gets into priorities and values, the kind of democratic issues that have been seen as the speciality of cities but which must arise in suburbia as well.

(Issues of scarcity can even arise with virtual worlds.)