When I’ve come to Sweden in the past, I’ve stayed in the urban center of Stockholm, but this time I’m staying in the suburbs of Stockholm. The suburban sprawl has some significant differences to American sprawl. First, sidewalks, nature paths, and bike paths crisscross through the neighborhoods and homes. As opposed to walking on a sidewalk next to the street, one meanders through trees and parks on the way home. (Though it is easy to get lost.) Second, the trains are far more convenient in terms of timing and location that in the U.S. Third, the layout of neighborhoods are more organic, less rigid lines than in America, leading to narrower streets, slower traffic and a more intimate setting. This is not to say all is rosy….large mega-stores, increased vehicle usage, and a lack of walkable commercial districts.

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