Remaking American Communities


Remaking American Communities

A Reference Guide to Urban Sprawl

Edited by David C. Soule
Foreword by Neal Peirce

Our Sustainable Future Series

592 pages
10 halftones, 2 line drawings, 18 maps, 12 tables


November 2007


$35.00 Add to Cart

About the Book

Urban sprawl has gained much national attention in recent years. Sprawl involves not only land-use issues but also legal, political, and social concerns. It affects our schools, the environment, and race relations. Comprehensive enough for high school students and also appropriate for college undergraduates, Remaking American Communities delves into the challenges of urban sprawl by turning to some of America's top thinkers on the problem, including Robert Yaro, president of the Regional Plan Association. Other cutting-edge essays include a foreword about the emergence of sprawl by nationally syndicated columnist Neal Peirce, views about race and class by former mayor of Albuquerque David Rusk, and a discussion of transportation dynamics by Curtis Johnson, president of the Citistates Group.
The essays in this collection explore the core issues of sprawl and the agenda for dealing with it. Complete with a glossary, resources, and contact information for smart-growth alliances, this book is extremely user-friendly. David C. Soule offers an unbiased viewpoint of this national phenomenon in a way that will be accessible to students and those with little background in the issue.

Author Bio

David C. Soule is the associate director at the Center for Urban and Regional Policy at Northeastern University. He is the principal advisor to the Regional Futures Institute of the National Association of Regional Councils and a member of the board of directors and former officer of the Alliance for Regional Stewardship.


“Sprawl preoccupies US planners and citizens today, and this encyclopedia offers a clear, practical handbook of history, current issues, analytic models, and policy ideas within a general smart-growth perspective. The authors of the 22 chapters include academics, attorneys, practicing planners, and policy analysts from organizations such as Collaborative Economics and the Citistates Group. . . . Recommended. All levels/libraries.”—Choice

“Sprawl is a national event that is an issue not just of land use but a legal, political, and social concern as well, affecting schools, the environment, and human relations. Writing primarily for high school students and undergraduates, Soule and his contributors explore the dynamics and impacts of sprawl and how localities are dealing with it.”—Reference & Research Book News

"[A]n in-depth overview of urban sprawl history, economics, dynamics, and issues. . . . College-level collections with urban studies or urban planning courses need to have this."—Midwest Book Review—California Book Watch

"Complete with a glossary, resources, and contact information for smart-growth alliances, this book is extremely user-friendly."—Morgan Capilla, Compendium Newsletter

Table of Contents

Foreword: Recent Emergence of Sprawl as an Issue in American Policy Debates - Neal Peirce
Part I. Sprawl in Context
1. Defining and Managing Sprawl - David C. Soule
2. Historical Framework: Citites and Their Regions, Suburbanization, and Federal Policies - David C. Soule
3. Legal Framework: The Laws of Sprawl and the Laws of Smart Growth - Jay Wickersham
4. Planning Framework: A Planning Framework for Managing Sprawl - Ralph Willmer
5. Economic Framework: The Economics of Sprawl - Zenia Kotval and John Mullin
6. Social Framework: Sprawl, Race, and Concentrated Poverty--Changing the "Rules of the Game" - David Rusk
7. Social Framework: Planning for a Civic Society--Investing in Social Infrastructure to Develop Social Capital - Meredith Cooper
8. Political Framework: The politics of Sprawl - David C. Soule
Part II. Sprawl Dynamics
9. Real Estate Markets and Property Law - David C. Soule
10. Transportation Systems: Market Choices and Fair Prices--Five Years of Twin Cities Research - Curtis Johnson
11. Atlanta Metropatterns: A Regional Agenda for Community and Stability - Myron Orfield
Part III. What's Wrong with Sprawl?
12. Shared Freedom: A Dynamic Standard for Equity in the Sprawl Debate - John Moynihan
13. The Impact of Sprawl on the Environment and Human Health - Sarah Gardner
14. The Cost of Sprawl - David C. Soule
Part IV. Measuring and Analyzing Sprawl
15. Measuring Change: Databases, Build-Out Analysis, Scenario Planning, and Models - David C. Soule
16. Taking Democracy to Scale: Tools for Planning at the Speed of Change - Ron Thomas
Part V. Cross-Cutting Issues
17. Sprawl and Local Government Taxation Regimes: Cause and Effect - Ari Bruening, James Hlawek, and David C. Soule
18. Immigration: Friend or Foe - Alexander von Hoffman and David C. Soule
Part VI. Policy Prescriptions
19. Governing Complexity: The Emergence of Regional Compacts - Douglas Henton, John Melville, and John Parr
20. The Local Arena: Changing Regulations and Standards to Address Sprawl - Terry Szold
21. Greenspace and Natural Resource Preservation - Robert Yaro
22. Regional Equity and Smart Growth: Opportunities for Advancing Social and Economic Justice in America - Angela Glover Blackwell and Radhika K. Fox
Appendix I: Database Resources
Appendix II: Web Sites for Sprawl Research
Appendix III: Contact Information for Smart-Growth Alliances
Appendix IV: Ahwahnee Principles for Resource-Efficient Communities
Comprehensive Bibliography
About the Editor and Contributors

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