From Publishers Weekly
Before readers hit the title page of this heavily illustrated if scattershot treatise, they'll see the following line alone on a page of brown paper: "Drosscapes accumulate in the wake of the socio- and spatio-economic processes of deindustrialization, post-Fordism, and technological innovation." Readers, however, will have to wait until the end of the book for Berger to offer a working definition of drosscape ("a design pedagogy that emphasizes the productive integration and reuse of waste landscapes throughout the urban world," or "the creation of a new condition in which 'vast,' 'waste,' or 'wasteful' land surfaces are modeled in accordance with new programs or new sets of values that remove or replace real or perceived wasteful aspects of geographical space"). Such roundabout writing, typeset in a stark sans serif font, will keep most readers-even those with a more than passing interest in issues of sprawl, waste-land, development, urban planning or the environmental consequences of industrialization-at bay. However, the dozens of charts, maps and aerial photographs, which depict urban sprawl and patterns of land usage-both wise and wasteful-are telling and place a much-needed real-world foil on the author's halting prose. Photos.
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"Berger's challenging new book on urban landscape...turns attention shockingly from the 'figure' of American cities to its ambiguous 'ground'." -- American Arts Quarterly, Spring 2006
An irresistible photograph album of drosscapes in 10 metropolitan areas. -- Planning Magazine, June 2006
Demand(s) to be read in order to understand the broader challenges of deindustrialization and rampant urbanization. -- World Architecture Magazine, May 2006
Exhibits a particular way of seeing the world and outlines what may be described as a uniquely "landscape intelligence." -- Landscape Architecture Magazine, May 2006
It is thought-provoking stuff, contributing graphic evidence to American exceptionalism in matters of land use, scale and programmes of ecological rehabilitation. -- Green Places, Nov. 2006
Makes excellent use of aerial photography and complex, detailed charts and images showing population densities and the migration of manufacturing activity... -- Civil Engineering, Oct. 2006
Offers seductive views of the phenomenon of sprawl... (Berger) obviously hopes to convey a little of the eerie, alienated beauty of the contemporary urban no-man's land as well. -- The Architect's Newspaper, Dec. 11, 2006
The chilling photographs of sprawl in Alan Berger's Drosscape: Wasting Land in Urban America. Rating: highbrow and brilliant. -- New York Magazine, Approval Index: Week of May 1, 2006
This book provides a follow-up to Berger's Reclaiming the American West, suggesting new ways to think about the 'dross' along the edges of American cities. -- Kansas City Star, Nov. 19, 2006
This profoundly original book at once advances and subverts the great challenge of "thinking regionally." -- Cite/Rice Design Alliance, summer/fall 2006