- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: North Point Press; 10th Anniversary ed. edition (September 14, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0865477507
- ISBN-13: 978-0865477506
- Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.8 x 8.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 131 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #142,656 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Suburban Nation: The Rise of Sprawl and the Decline of the American Dream 10th Anniversary ed. Edition
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From Publishers Weekly
Like "an architectural version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, our main streets and neighborhoods have been replaced by alien substitutes, similar but not the same," state Duany, Plater-Zyberk and Speck in this bold and damning critique. The authors, who lead a firm that has designed more than 200 new neighborhoods and community revitalization plans, challenge nearly half a century of widely accepted planning and building practices that have produced sprawling subdivisions, shopping centers and office parks connected by new highways. These practices, they contend, have not only destroyed the traditional concept of the neighborhood, but eroded such vital social values as equality, citizenship and personal safety. Further, they charge that current suburban developments are not only economically and environmentally "unsustainable," but "not functional" because they isolate and place undue burdens on at-home mothers, children, teens and the elderly. Adapting the precepts that famed urbanologist Jane Jacobs used to critique unhealthy city planning, Duany, Plater-Zyberk and Speck call for a revolution in suburban design that emphasizes neighborhoods in which homes, schools, commercial and municipal buildings would be integrated in pedestrian-accessible, safe and friendly settings. While occasionally presenting unsupported claims--such as that gated communities (of which there are now more than 20,000 in the U.S.) deprive children of gaining "a sense of empathy" in a diverse society--their visionary book holds out hope that we can create "places that are as valuable as the nature they displaced." (Mar.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From The New Yorker
" . . . [They] set forth more clearly than anyone has done in our time the elements of good town planning." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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As a resident of Northern Virginia, we live with the consequences described in "Suburban Nation" -- insufferable gridlocked traffic, lack of alternative transportation -- a patchwork attempt at resolving these issues does not work. Our County Governments continue to permit low density housing without adequate proffers or designs described in this book. Frustrating to see in action, when the guidelines pointed out are so obvious, easy to follow and in the end, cheaper for the developer.
A definite read for any County or City Commission. A very thought provoking book.
They are clear to show examples of how unintended consequences have derailed previous idealistic methods of combating sprawl, as well as examples of how (typically their) ideas have successfully fought sprawl. Adding parking to streets - slows down traffic - makes the area livable again. Who would have thought!?
All in all, an excellent history of why we live in sprawl, how we can work against it, and a great book for developers and architects to understand that their business doesn't have to be all suburban office park & subdivision focused.
The antidote is not fully covered here, but Duany is clear that it calls for nothing less than a complete re-commitment to traditional building patterns, of denser cities, and towns, and villages, and hamlets. It posits these as models for a happier, wiser, and more sustainable future. Today's American suburbs are neither urban enough, or rural enough. Planning and design solutions that enhance, instead of destroy, both the urban and the rural, will be requirements of the future.
This book will have a permanent role in the understanding of where we have been, and where we are going. It's necessary, and even important reading, but it's not a blueprint for all planning issues. The comprehensive challenges, which we face, will also call for a revolution in thinking for agriculture, and for the natural environment....both, also in crisis....and both, not fully considered, in this book.
noticed over the years about places I like and don't like were summarized
and expounded upon. I hadn't quite realized the effect traffic
engineering has had on city design.
I felt that it really elucidated a lot of why people are really unhappy
with their homes, lives, and communities.
This book is extensively footnoted with lots of data to back up opinions.
There is a huge bibliography into which I'm delving.
However, where it ventures into the social and political realm, it is
less effective and borders on being one-sided and polemic.
In one example, the authors state that GM and others
killed streetcars in 50 cities to get people to take cars rather
than public transport. If you look into this a little deeper, you'll
discover that it was probably more to promote their buses, and that the
truth was a lot more complicated than that. Look up "Great American
Streetcar Scandal" at wikipedia.
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The problem being, once we lock these forms into city planning, what do we do when...Read more