The Bible says again and again and again to “love the stranger”. Although this phrase has been interpreted in a variety of different ways, one highly plausible interpretation of this maxim is that we should be at least somewhat hospitable to newcomers and temporary sojourners in our midst.
But American land use and transportation regulations seem to be motivated by hostility to “strangers” (or, as they are more perjoratively termed, “transients”). For example, the most privileged uses in zoning are the most permanent: single-family houses and businesses tend to be the least controversial land uses, while the most transient-oriented land uses tend to be the most controversial. Owners of single-family houses try to zone out apartments because renters are “transient”, and homeowners and renters in turn may ally try to zone out hotels and other forms of short-term rental because the users of these services are even more ‘transient” than renters.
Street design often seems hostile to transients as well; a visitor to a city is least likely to be disoriented in a place where one can guess a place’s location based on an address. For example, if you are going to 1125 M Street, SW, in Washington, DC you know that your destination is near the corner of 11th and M Streets. Other gridded areas are a little less legible, but even so you can somewhat guess where you are going if you know a street name or two. By contrast, newer suburbs often tend to be much less legible to visitors: for example, in suburban Atlanta, there is no street grid and the proliferation of cul-de-sacs makes navigation confusing for visitors.