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Sprawl and Suburbia

A Harvard Design Magazine Reader

2005

William S. Saunders, editor
Introduction by Robert Fishman

Sprawl and Suburbia

Combating sprawl through alternative visions of design and community

Sprawl and Suburbia brings together some of the foremost thinkers in the field and calls for architects, urban planners, and landscape designers to work at mitigating the impact of sprawl and improving the built environment as a whole.

Contributors: Mike Davis, Ellen Dunham-Jones, Peter Hall, David Harvey, Jerold S. Kayden, Matthew J. Kiefer, Alex Krieger, Andrew Ross, James S. Russell, Mitchell Schwarzer.

An indispensable record of late twentieth century observations about the character of our suburban landscape. Rather than offering proscriptive solutions to sprawl, we hear sociological, cultural and economic critiques. Offers critical scholarship on an issue of pressing interest at the dawn of the twenty-first century.

Material Culture

Sprawl is the single most significant and urgent issue in American land use at the turn of the twenty-first century. Efforts to limit and reform sprawl through legislative Smart Growth initiatives have been enacted around the country while the neotraditionalist New Urbanism has been embraced by many architects and urban planners. Yet most Americans persist in their desire to live farther and farther away from urban centers, moving to exurbs made up almost entirely of single-family residential houses and stand-alone shopping areas.

Sprawl and Suburbia brings together some of the foremost thinkers in the field to present in-depth diagnosis and critical analysis of the physical and social realities of exurban sprawl. Along with an introduction by Robert Fishman, these essays call for architects, urban planners, and landscape designers to work at mitigating the impact of sprawl on land and resources and improving the residential and commercial built environment as a whole. In place of vast residential exurbs, these writers offer visions of a fresh urbanism—appealing and persuasive models of life at greater density, with greater diversity, and within genuine communities.

With sprawl losing the support of suburban citizens themselves as economic, environmental, and social costs are being paid, Sprawl and Suburbia appears at a moment when design might achieve some critical influence over development—if architects and planners accept the challenge.

Contributors: Mike Davis, Ellen Dunham-Jones, Peter Hall, David Harvey, Jerold S. Kayden, Matthew J. Kiefer, Alex Krieger, Andrew Ross, James S. Russell, Mitchell Schwarzer.

Sprawl and Suburbia

William S. Saunders is editor of Harvard Design Magazine and assistant dean for external relations at the Harvard Design School. He is the author of Modern Architecture: Photographs by Ezra Stoller.

Robert Fishman is professor of architecture and urban planning at the Taubman College of Architecture, University of Michigan. He is author of Bourgeois Utopias: The Rise and Fall of Suburbia and editor of The American Planning Tradition: Culture and Policy.

Sprawl and Suburbia

An indispensable record of late twentieth century observations about the character of our suburban landscape. Rather than offering proscriptive solutions to sprawl, we hear sociological, cultural and economic critiques. Offers critical scholarship on an issue of pressing interest at the dawn of the twenty-first century.

Material Culture

Sprawl and Suburbia

Contents

Preface: Will Sprawl Produce Its Own Demise? William S. Saunders

Introduction: Beyond Sprawl Robert Fishman

1. Seventy- five Percent: The Next Big Architectural Project Ellen Dunham- Jones
2. The New Urbanism and the Communitarian Trap: On Social Problems and the False Hope of Design David Harvey
3. Ozzie and Harriet in Hell: On the Decline of Inner Suburbs Mike Davis
4. Suburbia and Its Discontents: Notes from the Sprawl Debate Matthew J. Kiefer
5. The Costs— and Benefi ts?— of Sprawl Alex Krieger
6. Smart Growth in Atlanta: A Response to Krieger and Kiefer Ellen Dunham- Jones
7. Diversity by Law: On Inclusionary Zoning and Housing Jerold S. Kayden
8. The Spectacle of Ordinary Building Mitchell Schwarzer
9. Privatized Lives: On the Embattled ’Burbs James S. Russell
10. Duct Tape Nation: Land Use, the Fear Factor, and the New Unilateralism Andrew Ross
11. Retro Urbanism: On the Once and Future TOD Peter Hall

Contributors