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The Limitless City : A Primer on the Urban Sprawl Debate - Oliver Gillham

The Limitless City

A Primer on the Urban Sprawl Debate

By: Oliver Gillham, Alex S. MacLean (Photographer)

Paperback Published: 1st March 2002
ISBN: 9781559638333
Number Of Pages: 328

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One of the great debates of our time concerns the predominant form of land use in America today -- the all too familiar pattern of commercial and residential development known as sprawl. But what do we really know about sprawl? Do we know what it is? Where did it come from? Is it really so bad? If so, what are the alternatives? Can anything be done to make it better? The Limitless City offers an accessible examination of those and related questions. Oliver Gillham, an architect and planner with more than twenty-five years of experience in the field, considers the history and development of sprawl and examines current debates about the issue. The book: offers a comprehensive definition of sprawl in America traces the roots of sprawl and considers the factors that led to its preeminence as an urban and suburban form reviews both its negative impacts (loss of open space, increased pollution, gridlock) as well as its positive aspects (economic development, personal freedom, privacy) considers responses to sprawl including "smart growth," urban growth boundaries, regional planning, and the New Urbanism looks at what can be done to improve and counterbalance sprawl The author argues that whether we like it or not, sprawl is here to stay, and only by understanding where it came from and why it developed will we be able to successfully address the problems it has created and is likely to create in the future. The Limitless City is the first book to provide a realistic look at sprawl, with a frank recognition of its status as the predominant urban form in America, now and into the near future. Rather than railing against it, Gillham charts its probable future course while describing critical efforts that can be undertaken to improve the future of sprawl and our existing urban core areas.

Industry Reviews

"Policy makers would do well to keep The Limitless City within reach."--Boston Globe

Prefacep. xi
Introductionp. xiii
Understanding Sprawlp. 1
What Is Sprawl?p. 3
Characteristics and Indicators of Sprawlp. 3
Definition of Sprawlp. 8
What Makes Sprawl?p. 8
The Limitless Cityp. 17
Sprawl in Summaryp. 22
The Origins of Sprawlp. 25
Industrial Citiesp. 25
Reformp. 26
The First Modern Suburbsp. 27
Automobiles and Roadsp. 31
Post-War Suburban Expansionp. 36
Suburbanization and Citiesp. 41
The Origins of Sprawl in Summaryp. 45
Reactions and Countertrendsp. 47
Protesting the Highwaysp. 48
Cleaning up the Environmentp. 52
The Importance of Historyp. 54
Resurgent Older Citiesp. 57
Analyzing the Trendsp. 61
Mounting Protest and Reactionp. 63
Reactions and Countertrends in Summaryp. 65
The Sprawl Debatep. 67
Outlining the Debatep. 69
In Defense of Sprawlp. 69
Why Is There Any Debate?p. 71
The Charges Against Sprawlp. 75
Pro-Developmentp. 78
Untangling the Sprawl Brawlp. 79
Land and Habitatp. 83
Vanishing Landscape?p. 83
Natural Habitatp. 89
Land and Habitat in Summaryp. 91
Transportation and Energyp. 93
Trafficp. 93
Energy Consumptionp. 105
Transportation and Energy in Summaryp. 111
Pollution and Public Healthp. 113
Air Qualityp. 113
Water Qualityp. 115
Public Healthp. 118
Pollution and Public Health Summaryp. 121
Economics and Social Equityp. 123
The Economics of Sprawlp. 123
Social Divides and Citiesp. 132
Economics and Social Equity in Summaryp. 142
Aesthetics and Communityp. 143
Sprawl and Aestheticsp. 143
Communityp. 148
Aesthetics and Community in Summaryp. 151
Searching for Alternativesp. 153
Growth Management and Smart Growthp. 155
Growth Managementp. 155
What is "Smart Growth"?p. 156
Smart Growth Measuresp. 158
Growth Management and Smart Growth In Summaryp. 160
Preserving Open Spacep. 161
The Importance of Open Spacep. 161
Open-Space Conservation Programsp. 164
Growth Boundariesp. 172
The Downside of Open-Space Conservationp. 175
Preserving Open Space in Summaryp. 176
Changing Development Patternsp. 179
Compact, Mixed-Use Developmentsp. 179
Revitalizing Older Downtowns and Inner-Ring Suburbsp. 186
The Density Issuep. 197
Changing Development Patterns in Summaryp. 199
Viable Public Transportationp. 201
The Importance of Public Transportationp. 201
Local Public Transportation Initiativesp. 201
Metropolitan Transit Initiativesp. 202
Innovative Transit Technologyp. 207
Barriers to Transitp. 208
The Land-Use Connectionp. 209
Viable Public Transportation in Summaryp. 210
Regionalismp. 211
Expansion and Annexationp. 211
Recurrent Regionalismp. 212
Case Studies in Regionalismp. 215
Regionalism in Summaryp. 234
The Future and Concluding Thoughtsp. 237
Thinking About the Futurep. 239
The Prospects for Changep. 239
Technology and Cyberspacep. 239
A Picture of the Futurep. 246
Thinking About the Future in Summaryp. 250
Conclusionp. 251
The Suburban Patternp. 251
A Willing Nationp. 251
Suburban Malaisep. 251
A Paradigm of Democracyp. 252
A Misuse of Resourcesp. 252
Increasing Pollutionp. 252
Pushing for Transitp. 253
A Widening Gulfp. 253
Losing Open Spacep. 254
Changing Growth Prioritiesp. 254
The Sprawl We Already Havep. 255
The Continuing Debatep. 256
Notesp. 259
Bibliographyp. 283
Indexp. 297
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9781559638333
ISBN-10: 1559638338
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 328
Published: 1st March 2002
Publisher: Island Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 25.4 x 17.8  x 2.13
Weight (kg): 0.59
Edition Number: 2