And out of the ashes...
The New York Times has a collection of essays by American writers observing their local communities. My personal favorite is Toby Barlow's Bike Among the Ruins observing the resurgence of bicycling in Motor City Detroit.
Detroit was built on the premise that the car was king, but with the economic and environmental recoil reshaping Detroit, cars are now relics of another age. Barlow details the advantages that Motor City would have transformed into Crank City: the wide open roads, the absence of hills, the affordable cost of living in the area. Oddly, Barlow fails to mention that Detroit winters are in a word brutal, but equally odd, Minneapolis is considered one of the best bicycling cities.
This is a great essay because it's a visionary one, that takes the world as it exists today and imagines a different, and arguably better one. Every great building starts with a blueprint, this is one for a different kind of town. Real estate is cheap, they have internet, there's a great university close by. Does the migration begin.