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Save the 'Burbs!

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Or rather, recycle them. The way certain suburbs and exurbs have been hollowed out by 1) foreclosures and 2) high gas prices (see: six months ago) has some city planners in a bit of a froth over what to do to save them. A few professor types have even envisioned suburbs becoming the slums of the future. But assuming there's not much you can do to save them per se, is there anything you can do to repurpose them? Say, subdividing McMansions, SF Victorian mansion-style? Or turning empty swimming pools into wonderland skate parks? Or are foreclosed exurbs doomed to eternal ghost-town hell? Interesting questions, all. [Allison Arieff]