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Books on sprawl

Jerry Weitz

Cyburbian
Messages
77
Points
4
There are so many books that have come out on sprawl in the past two years, it is incredible! And add to that the news almost everyday, somebody is in the news talking about sprawl. Duany, Plater-Zyberk and Speck have written an inspiring book, "Suburban Nation" (1999). I say inspiring because it touches home even to those that are not die-hard new urbanists. Tom Daniels has written a great book which for the first time focuses on the exurban fringe and growth management challenges there: "When City and Country Collide" (1999). And there is "Once There Were Greenfields" by Benfield, Raimi and Chen (1999). Haven't gotten to that one yet. The list goes on and on! One of my own interests is in seeing how we can quantify sprawl, diagnose it, and put programs in place to mitigate it. Jerry Weitz.
 

Mike Morin

BANNED
Messages
31
Points
2
Metropolitics by Myron Orfield is a good book related to sprawl. While his solutions (not just mitigations) are political, I would add that alternative economic entities need to be established to counteract the economic growth (i.e. sprawl) machine. See the website http://www.plannersnetwork.org for interesting articles on the fundamental reasons for sprawl.

A fairly good recent book on sprawl was by Moe and Wilkie (I forget the title). A caveat though, these authors judge sucess in redevelopment of downtowns in that land prices are going up. So much for affordability.

Reach way back and you can come up with the book ,
The Cost of Sprawl, written in the 70's. We've been aware of it for at least that along. Now, it's a trendy topic and probably all these books are written to capitalize on the heightened awareness, just as Mr. Gore has elevated "Smart Growth" to a vote-getting scheme, but does not advocate a Federal role to reverse the trends that were foisted upon the landscape primarily by Federal programs in the last fifty years.

Thanks for the references though, Jerry. I'll see if I can find them in the library and check them out.
 

Jerry Weitz

Cyburbian
Messages
77
Points
4
I purchased both the books you cite, Mike, I just haven't read them yet. And there is another called the "Costs of Sprawl Revisited" (1998, Robert Burchell et al.) published by the feds that is a synthesis of all sprawl related studies since Cost of Sprawl (1974).
 

Mike Morin

BANNED
Messages
31
Points
2
I found the Duany et al book in the U of Oregon library, but someone had it out. I put a hold on it and intend to give it a look when it becomes available.

I found an earlier book by Tom Daniels and Deborah Bowers called Holdin Our Ground, Protecting America's Farms and Farmlands. After skimming it and reading the first three chapters, I decided to purchase it.

I've talked to Kaid Benfield on the phone. His group, the Conservation Law or something like that, out of New York City, wouldn't place the book in the libraries across the land. They want you to buy it. As a fairly strict policy, I don't buy books sight unseen. I was unable to find it in either the UMass (WEB DuBois) Library, the Forbes Library in North Ampton, Mass or the U.of Oregon (Knight/Nike, Just Do it, No thanks) Library.

I would strongly recommend Metropolitics, particularly when he talks about tax base revenue sharing. My own addendum would be to extend the logic to socialist business entities. You can find my views throughout this Cyburbia website.

The Moe and Wilkie book was well written, a casebook of sorts, but I didn't think it was important enough to add to my collection.

Thanks again for the tip.
 
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