The Future We Deserve

It’s no joke to suggest that Manchester’s periphery of suburban residences was civic planning miming doll’s house construction. That city's flight of the middle-class in 18th century not only emptied the city core of its dormitory populations, but also dramatically segregated Manchester's distinct socioeconomic strata. In fact, as Engels notes, suburbia was never simply a compromise in which the wealthy chose to inhabit ex-centric residences but instead a coercive restructuring of the industrial city which stretched from the cities interior where the middle-class housed their business, factories and show-rooms out to the picturesque domiciles of this suburban Eden.  Accordingly, Manchester’s civic leaders specifically carved out the shared social terrain of the civic sphere as their own privatised arena forcing the unlucky populace to make do, either as a banished supplementary populace on the margins, or genuflecting loyalists dependent upon the sycophantic peccadilloes of the leisure dollar. This divisively cordoned the city, running its façade of a public terrain straight into the highly polished charters of today's entertainment-destination retail.  So there’s nothing really surprising about this make-over, in fact it’s little more than the trickle-down economy, only brutishly manifest.  Today’s version is no different it is just more insidiously coded, folded into urban appraisals rather than overlaid upon them, but if we’re not careful it’ll become (if it hasn’t already) the future we deserve rather than the future we want.  

22page essay exploring suburbia's relation to tilt slab retail
jdr52 (September, 2013).