Suburban Nation: The Rise of Sprawl and the Decline of the American Dream

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Macmillan, Apr 16, 2001 - Architecture - 293 pages
100 Reviews
A manifesto by America's most controversial and celebrated town planners, proposing an alternative model for community design.

There is a growing movement in North America to put an end to suburban sprawl and to replace the automobile-based settlement patterns of the past fifty years with a return to more traditional planning principles. This movement stems not only from the realization that sprawl is ecologically and economically unsustainable but also from a growing awareness of sprawl's many victims: children, utterly dependent on parental transportation if they wish to escape the cul-de-sac; the elderly, warehoused in institutions once they lose their driver's licenses; the middle class, stuck in traffic for two or more hours each day.

Founders of the Congress for the New Urbanism, Andres Duany and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk are at the forefront of this movement, and in Suburban Nation they assess sprawl's costs to society, be they ecological, economic, aesthetic, or social. It is a lively, thorough, critical lament, and an entertaining lesson on the distinctions between postwar suburbia-characterized by housing clusters, strip shopping centers, office parks, and parking lots-and the traditional neighborhoods that were built as a matter of course until mid-century. It is an indictment of the entire development community, including governments, for the fact that America no longer builds towns. Most important, though, it is that rare book that also offers solutions.
  

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Great book, very educational. - Goodreads
I've only read the intro and already love it. - Goodreads
This is a great introduction to New Urbanism. - Goodreads
A great introduction to all aspects of smart growth. - Goodreads
the book that helped set me on my research direction! - Goodreads
I use it all the time for reference. - Goodreads

Review: Suburban Nation: The Rise of Sprawl and the Decline of the American Dream

User Review  - Alison Brown - Goodreads

I picked this up because the concept of new urbanism appeals to me, and I know very little about urban planning. It is a good introduction to the topic and a relatively quick read (gets bogged down a ... Read full review

Review: Suburban Nation: The Rise of Sprawl and the Decline of the American Dream

User Review  - Christina Beeler - Goodreads

This book changed the way I think about my neighborhood and city. It is well-written, informative, and progressive. Some of the ideas in it are so simple but so often ignored. I live in Houston, one ... Read full review

Contents

What Is Sprawl and Why?
3
The Devil Is in the Details
21
The House That Sprawl Built
39
The Physical Creation of Society
59
The American Transportation Mess
85
Sprawl and the Developer
99
The Victims of Sprawl
115
The City and the Region
135
The Inner City
153
How to Make a Town
183
Development Checklist
245
The Congress for the New Urbanism
257
Acknowledgments
267
Bibliography
273
Sources of Illustrations
281
Copyright

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About the author (2001)

Andres Duany and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk lead a firm that has designed more than 200 new neighborhoods and community revitalization plans, most notably Seaside, Florida. Jeff Speck is director of town planning for the firm.

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