From a conversation on The Huffington Post with Andres Duany:
"Duany began by identifying three concurrent crises that he traced directly to the American lifestyle: Peak oil (the likelihood that we've already consumed more than half the planet's petroleum in barely 100 years), the housing bubble, and global climate change. "It's where we live, the size of our houses, the distances we drive for work, commerce, play--everything."
And it's all a vicious circle. The reason our houses are so big (and inefficient), he says, is because we have eliminated a healthy civic life. We build homes with giant foyers because we have no public squares. We need media rooms because it's not easy or pleasant to drive to a multiplex theater, cross a parking lot through an ocean of cars, and pay a fortune for popcorn. We build bars in our basements because there are no neighborhood pubs. We have giant refrigerators and ever-growing storage needs because shopping is both far away and unpleasant (hello, Costco). The result? We heat and air-condition unused rooms in oversized unpleasant houses. And because our home bars and foyers are empty and our media experiences private, we're lonely, to boot."