Megan Harlan
April 21, 2000 AT 04:00 AM EDT

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

type
Book
Current Status
In Season

We gave it an A

Tract-home subdivisions, office parks, strip malls, and traffic-snarled highways have sprouted across postwar America like architectural crabgrass. In Suburban Nation: The Rise of Sprawl and the Decline of the American Dream, three innovative town designers — Andres Duany, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, and Jeff Speck — critique suburban sprawl and the misguided housing policies that nurtured it: Thanks to rampant single-use zoning laws (where commercial and residential neighborhoods are strictly segmented), the classic mixed-use American Main Street, still to be found in places as varied as Nantucket, Mass., Santa Fe, N.M., and Santa Barbara, Calif., would be illegal to build in most places today. Lucidly detailing the environmental, aesthetic, and social costs of sprawl, the authors deliver a passionate, stylish manifesto on community quality of life. A

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