“An urban slum in the countryside” marked by a lack of McMansions

McMansions may be everywhere (including Iraq) but one writer notes their conspicuous absence in the suburbs of Cardiff, Wales:

“Out on what were the squelchy red muds, bluebell woods, beech-clad hillocks and bosky blackberry hedgerows of the ancient parish of Llanederyn, prices have collapsed and nothing sells. Few want to live in a no man’s land 40 minutes by bus from the city centre, an unloved, invisible of executive Mcmansions, roundabouts and superstores, sagging lintels and dripping gutters.”

We also learn that Trowbridge is “shabby and lacklustre” and that Llanederyn’s Maelfa indoor precinct is “a post-apolcalyptic boarded-up no-go zone, spurned by market forces uninterested in poor people.

“Thus was created an urban slum in the countryside.”

Some vivid descriptions that evoke a bleak image. It is interesting to compare this description of bleakness with how such things are discussed in regard to American McMansions. Outside of depictions of “zombie subdivisions” due to unfinished developments or suburban neighborhoods ravaged by foreclosures, American critics of McMansions tend to emphasize their emotional bleakness. Having McMansions implies having plenty of money or resources (or at least the means of acquiring debt). Yet, critics suggest neighborhoods with McMansions lack community, are lonely, project images of power but are empty inside. In the future, all those McMansions may suffer the fate of many homes: people who have moved on to newer and better things, the need for many home repairs, and a lack of exterior sheen due to age. The bleakness is not class-based or like urban blight with empty and boarded-up buildings but rather is based on a lack of soul.

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