From The Atlantic Monthly, an article about today's McMansions becoming tomorrow's new slums. The message here to locals is: don't panic over the real estate downturn. It will come out to the advantage of city dwellers in the end. Take the long view.
And while urban construction may slow for a time because of the present housing bust, it will surely continue. Sprawling, large-lot suburbs become less attractive as they become more densely built, but urban areas—especially those well served by public transit—become more appealing as they are filled in and built up. Crowded sidewalks tend to be safe and lively, and bigger crowds can support more shops, restaurants, art galleries.
Chicago has definite advantages. Now if we can just get the political machine to focus on something other than the next election. Perhaps then we can be assured of sensible planning, reasonable tax structure, and a mass transit infrastructure that makes this city a shining example of what could be the future.