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The Consequences of Suburbanization

2010 ,    »  -   44 Comments
Ratings: 7.79/10 from 19 users.

The Consequences of SuburbanizationA documentary feature film about the unintended consequences of suburban sprawl.

It illustrates the importance of altering the course of how we develop our nation's cities.

It communicates the dangers of continuing to invest in the inefficient horizontal growth patterns of suburban communities, and details how they threaten to bankrupt the remaining wealth of our nation.

It explores how the depletion of fossil fuels will impact this living arrangement, and investigates the viability of alternative energies that are currently available.

This film sounds the alarm that the cheap fossil-fuel-dependent suburban American way of life is not just at risk. It is in peril!.

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44 Comments / User Reviews

  1. ZarathustraSpeaks

    "This film sounds the alarm that the cheap fossil-fuel-dependent suburban American way of life is not just at risk. It is in peril!."

    Whats the difference in risk and peril? Just asking.

  2. Monk
  3. Monk

    risk = To expose to a chance of loss or damage.

    peril = Imminent danger.

  4. Evan Wimperis
  5. Evan Wimperis

    'At Risk' means it could be prevented if certain actions are taken. In 'Peril' means your screwed unless some unseen miracle occurs but basically you're just waiting for the collapse.

  6. PavolvsBitch
  7. PavolvsBitch

    Cities are Citadels built intentionally for the purpose of power by enslavement. They are no more than open prison structures, containing closed official 'prison' structures within which to incarcerate those disobeying the High Priests of these structures.

    Like children building castles in the sand from a prototype in the stars of ideologies, Empires 'rising' and 'falling' represent the rythmic tides of marauding villians rampaging through the Earth, to be washed away in the endless pursuit of 'liberty, fraternity, equality'. These days 'equality, diversity, sustainability' and such insanity.

    The root words for system, city equate to sewage and thereby citizens equate to .... ? It is a puzzle, that story in their bible about Kain and Abel but this to me is the story of the origins of 'city' life. The jealous god preferred Adam's offering from his cultivated crops (settlement,community,city foundations) to Kain's nomadic livestock offering. God preferred man to stay put and build the foundations for Empire than roam freely in harmony with nature.

    There are no 'accidents' or 'unintentionality' in the ugly, wasteful, destructing and soul destroying existance in cities. They are huge vats of containment for human energy and enslavement. It's been going on since at least as far back as Plato and what we're seeing in the West is the swansong of the British phase of Empire culminating post Jubilee Olympics.

  8. Jeremy
  9. Jeremy

    Not very educated are we darling? Oh well, leave that to the logical entities I suppose.

  10. Sieben Stern
  11. Sieben Stern

    Excellent docu. Still waiting on my solar cable car!

    The one thing that gets to me though, is that docus like these never mention population control - it always seems like that's an untouchable subject.

  12. PeterCarson
  13. PeterCarson

    Most of these sage messages have been in circulation for at least 40+ years, way back when GreenPeace and other environmental groups were formulated in the mid 1960's and going forward. It would seem moot, the genesis of at least a few forward thinking EARLY INNOVATORS, was driven by Marion King Hubbard and his projections in the mid 1950`s relative to : Peak Oil.

    As an aside, virtually ALL brilliant scientists of the day, scoffed and ridiculed Hubbard, most notably his prediction in approx 1957 : peak oil would hit Ameri-DUH in 1970. Hubbard was pilloried and ridiculed publicly in 1970 by these same teams of researchers and oil executives when more oil was pumped out of U$ wells than ever previously. However, 12 months later, when calculations were tallied in 1971, reality visited by virtue of the fact U$ oil production began it`s long and precipitous decline to where we are at present - thus vitiating Hubbard`s thesis and his professional reputation.

    Nevertheless, in spite of Hubbard`s genius proving greater veracity as U$ oil production further declined each subsequent year, facts he presented 60 years earlier are still largely ignored at all levels of politics and by common society - regardless to exponential population and consumption growth compared to the 1950's, contemporaneous to explosive growth of demand for plastics and a litany of space-age materials such as carbon fiber - which consumes exorbitant volumes of oil and energy to produce.

    Approx 8 years ago, another series of authors created a film titled : End of Suburbia, followed by others including a film by Leonardo Di Caprio, another titled : Manufactured Landscapes, with Michael Ruppert trailing the bunch in 2011, in a film titled : Collapse. Virtually no mention of GreenPeace in the last 20 years - as radio-active water escaping Fukishima poisons Pacific ocean food and eco systems, rain laden with Cesium and other isotopes falls on northern hemispheres - and several BILLION tons of GLOW-IN-THE-DARK tsunami wreckage crosses the Pacific, some of which has already landed on west coast beaches of : Alaska, canaDUH and Cali-FORNICATION

    We should all be wearing decimeter badges, using Geiger Counters to test milk, fruit, vegetables and meat products before consuming. Few talk about the absence of honey bee populations this year, and the official response of dictatorial powers in Ottawa canaDUH are : SILENCE, BLACK-OUT, REMOVAL OF TEST EQUIPMENT, REFUSE ACCESS TO DATA. Nice !!

    Western society continues to reside in a world of APATHY, on a quick path to EMERGENCY, I presently believe will conclude in MASS DEPOPULATION - which I further believe is all part of GRAND-PLANS by PSYCHO-PATHETIC POLITICIANS and their MILITANT, BANKSTERING MASTERS. It is academic, vis-a-vis TOXIC COCKTAILS, APATHY & STUPIDITY - western society is DOOMED, because decisions are driven in a vacuum from reality on literally all common and political levels. Hundreds of MILLIONS of westerners invest more of their LIMITED INTELLIGENCE & $$$ - following sports, fad and fashion, and will remain blinded by EGO & MACHISMO BRAGGADOCIO to their last breath. WHEN this FREE-RIDE ends, society at large will PREDICTABLY get very HUNGRY, ANGRY, & full of BLAME - using their GUNS to get EVEN with THEMSELVES.
    Hasta luego - BABY !!

    Peter Carson
    "Censored" by moderator no personal emails allowed.

  14. Brandon Cooper
  15. Brandon Cooper

    ignorance just has to be bliss.....

  16. drinker69
  17. drinker69

    Where I live there is hundreds of golf courses that surround the suburban shangri-la that people live in. If anyone thinks this will ever stop, you're crazy. The strip malls go up, cookie sheet neighbourhoods get built(with no trees) and the people absolutely love it. Its an all consuming way of life. You buy your golf clubs, your lawn mower from the big box store, and develop an addiction to pharmaceuticals and/or alcohol just so you have something to talk about at the Sunday bbq. The template has been created and is working to perfection.

  18. Guest
  19. Guest

    Works well in California, Florida , Hawaii...let me guess....The Golden State.

  20. alans
  21. alans

    The way everything is designed is very mechanical and unnatural with straight lines, squares, and very technical non-eye appealing or soul fulfilling shapes. If you look at nature, you rarely see squares, and straight lines, but we are nature too, so there is definitely an unnaturalness in living in cookie cutter environments. We are not machines after all. The environment and architecture affect us on the subconscious level, and no wonder people resort to pharmaceuticals to numb themselves from what they see and feel around. People may not be able to explain what see, but they can definitely feel it, just look at the consequences of a medicated unfulfilled society saturated with distractions separating us from the natural world and deadening our souls. The romantics first touched upon this matter more than a hundred years ago. Future doesn't have to be dull, it can combine the old with the new.

  22. Arnie
  23. Arnie

    Deep concern as US domestic oil supplies begin to dry up. 1.74 years remaining.

    United States Oil Production 2011
    Oil Production: 9,056,000 bbl/Day [2011]
    Oil Consumption: 18,690,000 bbl/Day [2011]
    Proven Reserves: 19,120,000,000 bbl/Day [2011]

    Days available for production 2,111 at 100% retrieval. (unrealistic)
    Years of production left 6. Exhaustion date is 2018. (unrealistic)

    Days available for production 2,111 * .30 = 633 at 30% retrieval. (realistic)
    Years of production left 1.74. Exhaustion date is 2014. (realistic)

    Unless a country's oil reserves are inflated by 70% it is simply unrealistic to pump out 100% of a country's oil reserves. Realistically 25% of a country's oil reserves can be pumped out of the ground.
    For the case of this comment I have been optimistic at 30% retrieval.


    Conclusion of these numbers: economic collapse of the United States is inevitable beginning in the year 2015 unless a new energy source can be found.

    By the year 2015 the United States needs to find an additional 9,056,000 bbl/Day to 10,000,000 bbl/Day of oil to import in order to stay economically viable.

    The oil situation in the United States is now absolutely CRITICAL!

  24. GreatMoel
  25. GreatMoel

    This is not just about Americans.

    Living environment is affecting everything. The world, the relationships, happiness, power consumption, long term survival etc....

    Sticking to cars in the 21st century and beyond seems barbaric for me.
    Apart from the people who use cars for work and commuting, have cars because of their low self esteem, laziness and ignorance.

    Just look around in any street of the world. It is dominated by cars. You have to wait for cars just to cross a road, you have to smell their waste, you have to look at their gray roads instead of parks.
    And the other thing is not safe at all to have cars in our environment.
    As long as humans controlling these "ballistic weapons" no one is safe around them. Think about the statistics. How many deaths are related to car usage.

    Cars are already obsolete. Its time for the rise of public transport.

  26. Dean
  27. Dean

    I enjoyed this episode (first time post). And am happy an introvert such as I can discover a sense of belonging among the categories on tap. Thanks (again) T.D.F.

  28. David Ewer
  29. David Ewer

    If I had a criticism of this thoughtful and interesting documentary, it would be that the royal "we" is used to explain why US society developed as it did - as if all citizens made informed choices. However there's no mention of corporate power of Big Oil (see doc on this site), advertising, compliant governments and supportive mass media. The people have been used - they didn't choose this situation.

    And Seiben's absolutely right about the absence of overpopulation in the analysis - just one mention - but states want more folk to use their labour power to contend and compete with other states.

    Game of Risk anyone?

  30. Arnie
  31. Arnie

    Well done. Enjoyed it. The information provided is very relevent to what we can all expect between 2014 and 2030 when worldwide oil supplies become exhausted.

  32. magarac
  33. magarac

    Just go ahead finding a solution for that. In the meantime i´ll keep on walking to my job. Takes me 10 minutes and i can always hear it when i´m home:).
    Guess that ever increasing gas prices will help change the way people move around.
    Would be nice to know what any of the people here on TDF have to pay for gas wherever they live.
    Here in sweden it´s about 8.13Dollars a gallon.

  34. brutusaurio
  35. brutusaurio

    It's really hard to decrease the traffic on the roads.
    I mean, it's convinient going to the office by car.
    I enjoy doing the shopping in a huge mall center and filling the trunk.
    I drop off and pick up my children at school everyday (with my car), because it's always raining.
    And during the weekend I like to get into my car and to go to other places.

    Well, many people do this everyday / week.

    Can we change this? ---- I think so, but how? --- Tough work

  36. Matt Kukowski
  37. Matt Kukowski

    Oil and cars are the LEAST of this global model. Every system that was created to make our lives easy and brain dead, EVERY SYSTEM is breaking down and decaying.

    The planet itself is chocking from Fossil fuel gases. Cancer rates are up. Water quality is going down. Trash heaps grow and we just keep chopping and converting the planet into a trash dump.

    This is going to END badly and very soon. And this is good. It takes a SHOCK to wake up. All you here is how bad things are getting... but the problem is too large and going too fast to turn around...

    Humans do not decide when enough will be enough... You know what decides and has all this time?


  38. magarac
  39. magarac

    But in a way it´s still us who decide.
    We are the ones that need oil.
    The earth needs neither us nor oil.

  40. Thomas Ciaccio
  41. Thomas Ciaccio

    And, if people drove less and walked or biked more we could end the obesity epidemic in this country : )

  42. Mantid
  43. Mantid

    I am paying around $3.70 a gallon, I live in Georgia.

  44. Dean
  45. Dean

    Standard petrol in New Zealand is currently
    $2.20 (NZ) per litre ($1.00 NZ dollar is worth 0.81 cents US)
    $2.20 x 3.78 litres (i.e., US gallon)
    $8.30 (NZ) per gallon (or) $6.72 (US)

  46. Clifford William Thomas
  47. Clifford William Thomas

    Cheap, it's $8.68 here in the UK.

  48. I AM THE BEAST Sssotlohiefmjn
  49. I AM THE BEAST Sssotlohiefmjn

    Oil is evil in my biblical sense because the Lord said, abstain from blood and strangled things. Oil is from the blood and flesh of creatures and plants that is strangulated in the earth and put into extreme heat and pressure and kept so a long while. To touch ancient evil is to seek it out and use it, it is vile and should be left burried where God set it so. These wars will only get worse to the end of time itself.

  50. capriciouz
  51. capriciouz

    Oil is not the blood of anything. Technically, oil is mostly from the remains of plants. The creatures who contributed to oil were far too small to even have blood to circulate.

    Your black and white thinking prevents you from rationalization. I suggest you spend some introspective time examining the immediate flaws in your thought process.

    Lastly, if you accept that oil is the result of creatures which lived billions of years ago... how do you still believe the bible to be divine? The bible makes no mention about billions of years ago and you know this.

  52. capriciouz
  53. capriciouz

    about $4.25 USD per gallon in California

  54. Jo McKay
  55. Jo McKay

    good point - cost will eventually decide what and how most of us change. In Canada today, my gas cost is approx 1.25 a litre, which is a little less than 5.00 a US Gallon. (Anecdote: when I began to drive gas was .50 cents a gallon- and back then a Canadian 'Imperial' Gallon gave 20% more gas then the US Gallon) ; when cost went to $! a Can Gallon I bought my first compact :) - now I drive a Golf, and am waiting for a little better battery to convert to electric- or- may just move back to the coast and get a scooter or a bicycle with a little power assist (very cool bikes). While I agree that technology won't 'save' us - necessity is still the mother of invention- and those huge lawns in the burbs will make great garden space...

  56. arlene
  57. arlene

    I am paying the equivalent of $2.80 US/gal here where I live in Mexico.

  58. arlene
  59. arlene

    It is a law of nature that people must reap what they sow. Changing the American cultural norm would be a little like trying to harvest tomatoes from a field that was planted with corn. Where I now live, I have all of the cultural advantages this video suggests for a good life.
    I am a retired American living in Mexico. I live in a 7 unit two story apartment complex that is probably at least 100 years old. I walk maybe 30 steps from my front door to the beautiful garden coffee shop next door where I meet my friends and neighbors for latte, scones, conversation, poetry readings, live music, and wireless internet. The street outside is a lumpy bumpy cobblestone and dirt road. There is every sort of store, business, mall, cinema complex, WalMart, dr and dentist and vet, dozens of eateries of every sort, water park, live theater, computer store, library, police station, American consulate, anything and everything you could possibly need within 3 miles. I drive as often as I want on about 5% of my very modest (less than $10K/yr USD) income. My expired US car tags and drivers license are legal, my typical car repair costs are around $20-50 US, including body work.
    How is all this possible? That is just the way they have been doing things for the last 500 years in this part of the world, cars only got added onto the scene, they have not dominated it yet. Also, driving cross country on the toll highway system in Mexico you would think you were on a scify set in a high class movie. It was all built and is run at a profit by private enterprise.
    The whole idea that America is ahead of every other country on earth is nothing but an American myth. Right this minute I can smell the lovely scent of 200 year old rose bushes blooming outside my window, match that USA!

  60. OldVandal
  61. OldVandal

    Cost as a determining factor? You mean like the TBTF banks, etc.? Seems to me the system no longer functions as a "free market", and we should not be surprised at the consequences.

  62. Epicurus
  63. Epicurus


  64. bud oracle
  65. bud oracle

    And the solution, which I took 8 1/2 years ago, is so easy and so pleasant. I gave up my addiction to gasoline when I moved to Vancouver in 2004. I haven't regretted it for a moment. It is so freeing to bike, walk or take our futuristic transit system even with a bike. This was and is excellent planning in the face of complaint from the vast majority of lazy slugs sitting in their cars. Often as I pass them on my bike I notice prescription medicine on the seat or center console. No doubt our excellent medical system is also burdened by the side effects of a lethargic, stressed driving public.

    What a pile of crap it is to own a vehicle for the freedom it gives you, today. The truth is, it is a deadly millstone around your neck and like every addict you have a thousand excuses as to why you need it and wish to live in a state of denial which will prove deadly to us all. Let all drug users live in peace because they rarely harm others like alcohol or tobacco smokers and start jailing those addicted to driving because they are the real threat to our future..

  66. KsDevil
  67. KsDevil

    Ghads, could this documentary get any more sappy and preachy? Still, the idea of more eficient cities has already been addressed in the desert experiment called Masdar City in Dubai. All transit and services are underground so the streets above can be more pedestrian friendly and the buildings can be aranged for improved efficiency.
    Even The Eden Project has some interesting city designs.
    The biggest problem is converting existing cities into something along these models. Established ideas are very difficult to change when it means cost and inconvienience for an extended time. It would be easier to tear the entire city down and start over.

  68. Sherman Monro
  69. Sherman Monro

    thanks to everyone involved in making this doc. it’s very insightful and has a absolutely valid argument. for some it’s hard to accept the fact, the reality of the situation. Others may accept but say, this is not going to serve me any good since just before the whole world including US is in total collapse, I am gone!
    the main problem is a greedy bunch who are after accumulating wealth to any cost --- even collapse of a civilization! it’s not easy to get rid of the car companies completely, or to reduce them to 50%. in fact, selling car to people was the reason that in many metropolitan areas, the rails where substituted with roads by car companies and their accomplices in 50s’. this is ‘Capitalism totally out of hand’. when banks and
    corporations hand in hand plunder people and government stands there and pat them on the shoulder, this means disaster --- since the problem have such a deep root and requires a major overhaul of the whole system, and that is not easily achieved. those who are contributing to this problem will change their course only when the heat gets closer and they cannot stand it any more; but then it’s late because the whole infra-structure has been collapsed. yes, I and millions of others understand that we have to change our life style but it’s hard to convince greedy bankers, corporations and corrupt politicians that life cannot be sustained if they continue with their current mentalities and practices. We, as the whole world, and particularly Americans, are one the wrong track and eventually we will annihilate the environment and ourselves, unless we wake up NOW.

  70. Mercenarry ForHire
  71. Mercenarry ForHire

    Very True, This is the type of Documentaries i look for.

    A lot of Information thats true, politicians will never even mention stuff like this.

    When things break down usually we improve them, not keep doing it.

    I can see why the Old ways of thinking are fighting hard to stay in power.

  72. Brandon Nolin
  73. Brandon Nolin

    I agree with a vast majority of the points made in this documentary as we suffer from the same urban problems here in Canada that the US suffers. I have yet to own a car, not because I am a bad driver or can't drive but because it has simply gotten much too expensive to own and operate. The province in which I live is one of the lowest for gas prices at the pump coming out to around $1.20 CAN/L to $1.25 CAN/L on average (roughly $4.65 US/gal), provide this with the cost of insurance, payments etc. just to feel that sense of ownership and freedom would easily cost about 1/3 of my available income... irrational.

    The point I did not see present in this documentary (covered but not much) is that the housing market does not allow for people to freely move to an area with abundant transit. For me to do so I would have to rent a place at almost double my current rent or try to buy a house that on average range from $350k to 500k as opposed to a starter apartment on the fringe of the city for 200k where transit is inefficient and my commute by car would take me 40 min compared to 1 1/2 hours by transit. Something is fundamentally wrong with our urban planning and development when that is my choice. But we are a materialistic hedonist society that tends to learn only when it affects the vast majority.

  74. RD47
  75. RD47

    Yep I can trust everything the oil companies tell me. lol

  76. Allan Young
  77. Allan Young

    When did financial collapse become the end of civilization?

  78. Lovro Šari? Kora?evi?
  79. Lovro Šari? Kora?evi?

    It's really nice to see you Americans realizing the faults of your lifestyle because it is a scheme of the oppressing globalization. Don't get me wrong many nice things came from America but your consumer culture is so contagious!
    Just a few years ago I would go to the town center and buy everything I needed while enjoying the urban and historical surroundings, now six super-malls have been built far from the town itself however tempting the buyers with foreign "made in China" brands and forcing local downtown stores to close! The center is now filled with snobbish stores and expensive restaurants and being a student I can only afford coffee there! :S Sometimes it feels like I am a stranger in my own town. Also the suburbs are starting to be built here in Europe too and I wont even start about the ways people talk, dress and behave...
    I hope there will be more and more aware people like these! We are the 99%! ;)

  80. bumpercrop
  81. bumpercrop

    During the scenic views of citizens walking through the city, it would
    have been nice to see the camera zoom in on a shop window advertising
    "Free Contraception, no questions asked".

  82. huskamute
  83. huskamute

    Here in the uk fuel is £1.50 or $2.28 a litre and insurance for i 1.0 litre engine car when you first drive is £1200 or $1823.16 insurance a year, You americans had cheap fuel for years and big engined cars i jealous LOL. Looks like it wont be many generations before cars with engines be gone. Was iraq war to do with oil?

  84. WalkingforEngland
  85. WalkingforEngland

    As much as I love going to America its always baffled me at how you really can't walk to most places. We would pass a fast food place by the hotel on the way back from a long day sight seeing etc. On the last day we had time to kill before going to the airport , the hotel didn't do much in the way of lunch so I decided to walk to what I thought was the near by restaurant. It took me 35 mins in sweltering heat, I was the only pedestrian on the one long straight path, it seemed close in the car because there was nothing between the hotel and the restaurant, it was kinda eery being the only padestrain and on such a rigid straight path.

    Back home it would take me 15 mins to walk to the train station ( with only a 20min ride to the second city), 10 mins walk into town, 25 mins to walk to the retail (which has a similar resteraunt). Though the latter doesn't feel such a long walk because of the changing scenery and winding paths past houses, under bridges, through parks and over bridges. I suppose its because were an older nation that were planned more naturally with all the Quirk's it brings , planned and formalised grid layouts are somewhat dull.

  86. KazemMaloAliGlupo
  87. KazemMaloAliGlupo

    Interesting prediction, so being 2015 now, has it already collapsed?

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