A Choice Outstanding Academic Title
Since its publication, Suburban Nation has given voice to a growing movement in North America to put an end to suburban sprawl and replace the last century’s automobile-based settlement patterns with a return to more traditional planning principles. The movement stems not only from the realization that sprawl is ecologically and economically unsustainable but from an awareness of its many victims. Suburban Nation, a manifesto for this movement, assesses sprawl’s ecological, economic, aesthetic, and social costs to society. Written by three of America’s leading town planners, it is both a critical lament and an engaging exploration of the distinctions between postwar suburbia—characterized by housing clusters, strip shopping centers, office parks, and parking lots—and the traditional neighborhoods that were built as a matter of course until mid-century. Founders of the Congress for the New Urbanism, Andres Duany and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk are at the forefront of the movement, and even their critics, such as Fred Barnes in The Weekly Standard, recognized that “Suburban Nation is likely to become this movement’s bible.” A lively lament about the failures of postwar planning, this is also that rare book that offers solutions: “an essential handbook” (San Francisco Chronicle). Intelligent, far-reaching, and timely, Suburban Nation will enrich any urban studies class.
This tenth anniversary edition includes a new preface by the authors.