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1 Burnside Geography- General

Sprawl: A Compact History

by

Sprawl: A Compact History Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:


As anyone who has flown into Los Angeles at dusk or Houston at midday knows, urban areas today defy traditional notions of what a city is. Our old definitions of urban, suburban, and rural fail to capture the complexity of these vast regions with their superhighways, subdivisions, industrial areas, office parks, and resort areas pushing far out into the countryside. Detractors call it sprawl and assert that it is economically inefficient, socially inequitable, environmentally irresponsible, and aesthetically ugly. Robert Bruegmann calls it a logical consequence of economic growth and the democratization of society, with benefits that urban planners have failed to recognize.

In his incisive history of the expanded city, Bruegmann overturns every assumption we have about sprawl. Taking a long view of urban development, he demonstrates that sprawl is neither recent nor particularly American but as old as cities themselves, just as characteristic of ancient Rome and eighteenth-century Paris as it is of Atlanta or Los Angeles. Nor is sprawl the disaster claimed by many contemporary observers. Although sprawl, like any settlement pattern, has undoubtedly produced problems that must be addressed, it has also provided millions of people with the kinds of mobility, privacy, and choice that were once the exclusive prerogatives of the rich and powerful.

The first major book to strip urban sprawl of its pejorative connotations, Sprawl offers a completely new vision of the city and its growth. Bruegmann leads readers to the powerful conclusion that "in its immense complexity and constant change, the city-whether dense and concentrated at its core, looser and more sprawling in suburbia, or in the vast tracts of exurban penumbra that extend dozens, even hundreds, of miles-is the grandest and most marvelous work of mankind."

“Largely missing from this debate [over sprawl] has been a sound and reasoned history of this pattern of living. With Robert Bruegmann’s Sprawl: A Compact History, we now have one. What a pleasure it is: well-written, accessible and eager to challenge the current cant about sprawl.”—Joel Kotkin, The Wall Street Journal

 

“There are scores of books offering ‘solutions’ to sprawl. Their authors would do well to read this book.”—Witold Rybczynski, Slate

Synopsis:

In this incisive history of the expanded city, Robert Bruegmann argues that urban sprawl is a positive and logical consequence of economic development and social mobility.

Synopsis:

As anyone who has flown into Los Angeles at dusk or Houston at midday knows, urban areas today defy traditional notions of what a city is. Our old definitions of urban, suburban, and rural fail to capture the complexity of these vast regions with their superhighways, subdivisions, industrial areas, office parks, and resort areas pushing far out into the countryside. Detractors call it sprawl and assert that it is economically inefficient, socially inequitable, environmentally irresponsible, and aesthetically ugly. Robert Bruegmann calls it a logical consequence of economic growth and the democratization of society, with benefits that urban planners have failed to recognize.

In his incisive history of the expanded city, Bruegmann overturns every assumption we have about sprawl. Taking a long view of urban development, he demonstrates that sprawl is neither recent nor particularly American but as old as cities themselves, just as characteristic of ancient Rome and eighteenth-century Paris as it is of Atlanta or Los Angeles. Nor is sprawl the disaster claimed by many contemporary observers. Although sprawl, like any settlement pattern, has undoubtedly produced problems that must be addressed, it has also provided millions of people with the kinds of mobility, privacy, and choice that were once the exclusive prerogatives of the rich and powerful.

The first major book to strip urban sprawl of its pejorative connotations, Sprawl offers a completely new vision of the city and its growth. Bruegmann leads readers to the powerful conclusion that in its immense complexity and constant change, the city-whether dense and concentrated at its core, looser and more sprawling in suburbia, orin the vast tracts of exurban penumbra that extend dozens, even hundreds, of miles-is the grandest and most marvelous work of mankind.

Largely missing from this debate over sprawl has been a sound and reasoned history of this pattern of living. With Robert Bruegmann's Sprawl: A Compact History, we now have one. What a pleasure it is: well-written, accessible and eager to challenge the current cant about sprawl.--Joel Kotkin, The Wall Street Journal

There are scores of books offering 'solutions' to sprawl. Their authors would do well to read this book.--Witold Rybczynski, Slate

About the Author

Robert Bruegmann is chair of and professor in the Department of Art History at the University of Illinois at Chicago as well as professor in the School of Architecture and the Program in Urban Planning. His many books include The Architects and the City: Holabird and Roche of Chicago, 1880-1918, also published by the University of Chicago Press.

Table of Contents

Introduction

PART 1 - Sprawl Across the Centuries

1. Defining Sprawl

2. Early Sprawl

3. Sprawl in the Interwar Boom Years

4. Sprawl in the Postwar Boom Years

5. Sprawl since the 1970s

6. The Causes of Sprawl

PART 2 - The Diagnosis: Three Campaigns Against Sprawl

7. Early Anti-sprawl Arguments

8. The First Anti-sprawl Campaign: Britain in the Interwar Years

9. The Second Anti-sprawl Campaign: The United States in the Postwar Years

10. The Third Anti-sprawl Campaign: Since the 1970s

PART 3 - The Prescription: Remedies for Sprawl

11. Early Remedies: From Anti-blight to Anti-sprawl

12. Postwar Anti-sprawl Remedies

13. Anti-sprawl Remedies since the 1970s

Some Conclusions

Acknowledgments

Notes

Bibliographic Essay

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780226076911
Author:
Bruegmann, Robert
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
Credits:
Anime Hotshots
Subject:
Sociology - Urban
Subject:
General History
Subject:
Sociology-Urban Studies
Copyright:
Edition Description:
1
Publication Date:
October 2006
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
22 halftones, 3 line drawings, 5 maps, 1
Pages:
306
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

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Related Subjects

Business » Tax Guides
History and Social Science » Geography » General
History and Social Science » Sociology » General
History and Social Science » Sociology » Urban Studies » General

Sprawl: A Compact History Used Trade Paper
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Product details 306 pages University of Chicago Press - English 9780226076911 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , In this incisive history of the expanded city, Robert Bruegmann argues that urban sprawl is a positive and logical consequence of economic development and social mobility.

"Synopsis" by , As anyone who has flown into Los Angeles at dusk or Houston at midday knows, urban areas today defy traditional notions of what a city is. Our old definitions of urban, suburban, and rural fail to capture the complexity of these vast regions with their superhighways, subdivisions, industrial areas, office parks, and resort areas pushing far out into the countryside. Detractors call it sprawl and assert that it is economically inefficient, socially inequitable, environmentally irresponsible, and aesthetically ugly. Robert Bruegmann calls it a logical consequence of economic growth and the democratization of society, with benefits that urban planners have failed to recognize.

In his incisive history of the expanded city, Bruegmann overturns every assumption we have about sprawl. Taking a long view of urban development, he demonstrates that sprawl is neither recent nor particularly American but as old as cities themselves, just as characteristic of ancient Rome and eighteenth-century Paris as it is of Atlanta or Los Angeles. Nor is sprawl the disaster claimed by many contemporary observers. Although sprawl, like any settlement pattern, has undoubtedly produced problems that must be addressed, it has also provided millions of people with the kinds of mobility, privacy, and choice that were once the exclusive prerogatives of the rich and powerful.

The first major book to strip urban sprawl of its pejorative connotations, Sprawl offers a completely new vision of the city and its growth. Bruegmann leads readers to the powerful conclusion that in its immense complexity and constant change, the city-whether dense and concentrated at its core, looser and more sprawling in suburbia, orin the vast tracts of exurban penumbra that extend dozens, even hundreds, of miles-is the grandest and most marvelous work of mankind.

Largely missing from this debate over sprawl has been a sound and reasoned history of this pattern of living. With Robert Bruegmann's Sprawl: A Compact History, we now have one. What a pleasure it is: well-written, accessible and eager to challenge the current cant about sprawl.--Joel Kotkin, The Wall Street Journal

There are scores of books offering 'solutions' to sprawl. Their authors would do well to read this book.--Witold Rybczynski, Slate

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