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War on the Dream: How Anti-Sprawl Policy Threatens the Quality of Life Paperback – November 3, 2006

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: iUniverse, Inc. (November 3, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0595399487
  • ISBN-13: 978-0595399482
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,854,896 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Wendell Cox is an international demographic, urban policy, and transport consultant. He is a visiting professor at the Conservatoire National des Arts et Metiers in Paris and served terms on the Los Angeles County Transportation Commission and the Amtrak Reform Council. Cox lives in the metropolitan St. Louis area.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 16 people found the following review helpful By J. Henry on February 1, 2013
Its really unfortunate that people are looking to this book for advice.

Cox fails to see that the quality of life in the suburbs is only good for those that can afford it. The middle, lower-middle, and lower class struggle to make ends meet in the suburbs. Ask any real estate investor and they will tell you that the majority of the cheapest homes are the ones farthest from common daily amenities like schools, work, and places to shop.

This means that those looking to buy a home, and are not well off financially, or maybe they just started a family and money is tight, they will buy up the ones farthest away from those amenities. Sometimes it is hardly their choice whether they want to live that far away or not, it is only what they can "afford." The problem with this is that because they live so far from amenities, they must drive to get to them. This means more money from their pocket. The costs associated with owning a vehicle, or multiple vehicles, is only continuing to rise. We all can see the gas prices. We all know they have risen steadily for years. The price of gas coupled with maintenance, registrations, emissions, car accidents, and insurance add up very quickly.

Those of us that advocate for smart growth, new urbanism, neo-urbanism, whatever you want to call it, care about people. I truly care for others and I can see the suburban American dream is not for everyone. It used to be more affordable in the 70's and 80's. Now, many people struggle to have a life beyond paying for their car and a home. Also, our policies do not dictate removal of current suburbs, they will always exist. Those that can, and choose, to afford it can do so freely.

We encourage choice and opportunity.
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27 of 50 people found the following review helpful By K. Mangus on March 31, 2009
This book is a must read for anyone concerned about regulatory takings, private property rights, and social engineering. Mr. Cox provides hard data to answer the "but it looks pretty" arguments that plague current planning and zoning philosophy. I discovered his book while looking for answers after a proposed "Smart Growth" zoning ordinance in my Township threated my property thru regulatory takings. Mr. Cox's focus is on the true costs and economic realities too often ignored when our elected officials blindly follow the latest fads. The text is information heavy but definately worth the time and energy. It's like a crash corse in history, economics, social engineering, as it pertains to planning and zoning. This book will make you proud of where we come from and concerned about where we are going.
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29 of 55 people found the following review helpful By pd park on October 17, 2010
Verified Purchase
Unlike the one star reviewers, I've actually read the book - the author addresses the so-called concerns of these "reviewers".

Get the book and read it for yourself, don't blindly follow the eco-party line of the one-star reviewers of this book. Freedom leads to greater prosperity which leads to a better environment - period. "Sprawl" just means the neo-utopian planners don't get to tell us where to live. "Sprawl" means low income housing that people actually want to live in instead of the government created low-income crack house neighborhoods no one wants to live in.

My NIMBY neighbors shot down a housing development near where I live. Their desire for a nice view of open space near their home is more important than the private property rights of the owners of that open space who want to develop it, and more important than the young couple who work two jobs each in the service sector, probably cleaning the offices and/or houses of those who just denied them a home in the town where they work. Their commute, btw,is on a dangerous one-lane (in each direction, of course), high-traffic road that can't be widened because of eco-fanatics that require endless multi-million dollar enviro studies and unions that require wages, vacations, and pensions none of us will ever see in the private sector for similar jobs/skills.

It is not the American dream these proponents of central planning (didn't they get the memo: socialism failed) are crushing, but the universal dream of freedom. The freedom of a low-income family to afford a decent house in a safe neighborhood. They should be ashamed of themselves and we should not fall for their techno-eco-babble justifications for restricting freedom.
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