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

by Andres Duany

Other authorsJeff Speck (Author), Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk (Author)
Hardcover, 2000




New York : North Point Press, c2000.


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 Notion 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.… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member nerichardson
doesn't waste time sneering at horrible, dehumanized exurban sprawl but takes an idealistic look at how suburbia can be reclaimed and saved or at least how new developments can avoid the usual drab horrors. a very hopeful book that deserves a larger readership than new urbanists.
LibraryThing member rivkat
Anti-sprawl polemic, with plenty of pictures and statistics to make the case that building bigger houses further out is killing us—and this was well before the mortgage crisis! The authors tout New Urbanism instead, which relies on control-freak design to mix uses and make sure neighborhoods “feel” like neighborhoods. Good popular writing about designing the built environment, and persuasive pictures of suburban deadness versus urban/new urban liveliness; though the authors’ proposals are at least as manipulative as Coca-Cola ads, they’re manipulating you for a good purpose.non… (more)
LibraryThing member mattwiebe
Excellent book, easy to read and understand. This is a very important book for everyone who lives in North America. Enlightening and even entertaining.
LibraryThing member annbury
Terrific analysis of how too much of the visual landscape of the United States turned into highway hell, of what the alternative might be, and of how these might be achieved. Perceptive, witty, and mind-bending.
LibraryThing member amelish
It's necessary but I don't have to love it, right?
LibraryThing member elainermeyer
Subruban Nation provides a good overview of the condition of the American landscape, which has become, especially over the last sixty years, a stretch of parking lots, strip malls, and segregated-use neighborhoods. The authors offer suggestions and examples for a new neighborhood model, based on mixed-use living and pedestrian-friendly outdoor space.… (more)



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