The Suburban Nation
The Rise of Sprawl and the Decline of the American Dream
Duany, Andres; Plater-Zyberk; Elizabeth, Speck, Jeff
Publisher: North Point Press (A Division of Farrar, Straus and Girous), New York, USA
Year Published: 2000
Pages: 290pp Price: $47.00 ISBN: 0-86547-557-1
Library of Congress Number: HT384.U5 D83 2000 Dewey: 307.76"0973--dc21
Resource Type: Book
Cx Number: CX11665
The choice is ours: either a society of homogeneous pieces, isolated from one another in often fortified enclaves, or a society of diverse and memorable neighbourhoods, organized into mutually supportive towns, cities and regions.
This book describes the problem of the suburban sprawl and attempts to start a movement for a return to more traditional urban planning. Sprawl is unsustainable economically and ecologically, and has none of the charm and friendliness of traditional neighbourhoods. Suburbia is known for its blandness and dependence on vehicles for any outing. Because of suburban sprawl, America has decreased the development of new towns, and the housing sectors just grow bigger and require more deforestation. "Even at relatively low population densities, sprawl tends not to pay for itself financially and consumes land at an alarming rate, while producing insurmountable traffic problems and exacerbating social inequality and isolation." A traditional city planner's in-depth look at the consequences of suburban systems, the book also reveals the motives behind this change in planning policies.
In eleven chapters, the authors go from introducing the problems in suburban areas, to explaining the natural development of pedestrian-friendly city neighbourhoods with necessities within walking distance, to suggesting solutions for the problem. These solutions involve people at all levels of the conflict, including public servants, architects, urban planners and private citizens.
The two Appendixes provide information on what is needed for a traditional neighbourhood, and on the Congress for New Urbanism. The CNU was organized to create a return to suburbs that are more economically and ecologically sustainable, more beautiful and more accessible. It is a coalition of architects, urban designers, planners, engineers, journalists, attorneys, public servants and concerned citizens.
"The choice is ours: either a society of homogeneous pieces, isolated from one another in often fortified enclaves, or a society of diverse and memorable neighbourhoods, organized into mutually supportive towns, cities and regions."
[Abstract by Mia Manns]
Table of Contents
1. What is Sprawl, and Why?
2. The Devil Is in the Details
3. The House that Sprawl Built
4. The Physical Creation of Society
5. The American Transportation Mess
6. Sprawl and the Developer
7. The Victims of Sprawl
8. The City and the Region
9. The Inner City
10. How to Make a Town
11. What Is to be Done
Appendix A: The Traditional Neighborhood
Appendix B: The Congress for the New Urbanism
Sources of Illustrations