Via Eschaton, an article called McMansions no More about one place in Pennsylvania that’s considering changing building regulations to discourage developers from building and selling McMansions. The new model will encourage
cottage housing, clustered housing that preserves green space, zoning that encourages businesses and homes to occupy the same neighborhoods and incentives to developers to preserve open space.
If you’re reading this in Europe, it probably sounds like where you already live. North Americans excuse their energy consumption by pointing to the sheer vastness of the country they live in, but that only gets you so far. The fact that you’ve got lots of space between places where people live doesn’t mean those places themselves have to contain giant, energy-intensive, detached single-family homes surrounded by chemical-soaked eternally-green lawns, all clustered in isolated, limited-access suburbs reachable only by 18-lane highways.
The fuel price spike and the mortgage meltdown are two Bogartian open-hand face slaps administered to the hysterical blond of the American consumer.