Post war suburbanizing has led to an explosion in traffic.

In yesterdays Slate, Annie Lowrey shed light on the recent publication by researchers at Umea University in Sweden, who found that in a couple, if either partner has a commute to and from work of longer 45 minutes, the couple is up to 40% likelier to divorce.

As Lowrey puts it, “commuting is a migraine-inducing life-suck.” The drain on time, resources and the simple drain on family and friendship is pulling us all down.

Lowrey goes on to explain in detail how people are willing to endure this deprivation if they see an immediate return on housing per square footage. To be blunt: people will, by and large, sit in their Saab for6 hours a week if their house is big enough.

There is something in that equation though that reflects the unbridled suburbanization of the American cityscape. What Lowrey really shows though is that in many ways our love of our suburbs is literally killing us through obesity, stress, lack of communication and fossil fuels. The housing plus car equals happy is a sum that has only one answer: death.

To sum up: Centralization of American commutes and housing will need to become a priority if workers and families are going to be able to be sustainable in the future

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