Sprawl remains the prevailing growth pattern across the United States,
even though experts in planning, economics and environmental issues have
long denounced it as wasteful, inefficient, and unsustainable. Sprawl is
a principal cause of lost open space and natural habitat as well as increases
in air and water pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, infrastructure costs, and
even obesity. It also plays a primary role in the housing meltdown plaguing the nation.
But is it possible to repair sprawling suburbs and create more livable, robust,
and eco-sensitive communities where they do not now exist? This new book answers
with a resounding "yes" and provides a toolbox of creative approaches for doing just that.
The Sprawl Repair Manual offers comprehensive guidance for transforming fragmented,
isolated and car-dependent development into "complete communities." Polemical as well
as practical, the manual is designed to equip readers - from professional planners,
designers, and developers to regulators and concerned citizens - with strategies drawn
from two decades of successful repair projects.
In contrast to sprawl - characterized by an abundance of congested highways, strip
development, and gated cul-de-sac subdivisions - complete communities are diverse in
daily needs close by.
There is a wealth of research and literature explaining the origins and problems
of suburban sprawl, as well as the urgent need to repair it. However, the Sprawl Repair Manual
is the first book to provide a step-by-step design, regulatory, and implementation process.
From the scale of the region to the building - turning subdivisions into walkable neighborhoods,
shopping centers and malls into town centers, and more - today's sprawl can be saved.
Readers who have despaired of ever being able to "take back the suburbs" will find
heartening news between the covers of this first-of-its-kind book.
Many of the techniques demonstrated in the book are derived from the work and built projects
of Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company (DPZ) over the last twenty
years. This effort would not have been possible if the book had not been produced in the DPZ office,
supported with the patience and generosity of all partners - especially Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk and Andrés Duany - and
aided by the dedicated, talented and savvy contributing team of Judith I. Bell, Maria Elisa Mercer and
Rachel D. Merson-Zitofsky and illustrated so gorgeously by Eusebio Azcue and Chris Ritter. Brian Falk at the Center for
Applied Transect Studies (CATS), was a thoughtful and challenging advisor<
on all issues related to writing, content and publishing while Heather Boyer was an enthusiastic supporter and sponsoring editor at Island Press.