It's A Sprawl World After All
[the Human Cost of Unplanned Growth-- and Visions of A Better Future]Book - 2005
Suburbia has twisted the American dream into a nightmare. The United States now has the most rapes, assaults, murders, and serial killings per capita, by a wide margin, than any other first-world nation. It's a Sprawl World After All is the first book to link America's increase in violence and the corresponding breakdown in society with the post-World War II development of suburban sprawl.
Without small towns to bring people together, the unplanned growth of sprawl has left Americans isolated, alienated, and afraid of the strangers that surround them. Suburbia has substituted cars for conversation, malls for main streets, and the artificial community of television for authentic social interaction. This has resulted in dramatically negative impacts on US society, including:
* The transformation of America's community-oriented small-town sensibilities into an isolated society of strangers burdened by isolation, loneliness, and depression
* The emergence of a culture of incivility characterized by extreme individualism and a callous disregard for others
* Levels of violence so rampant as to be proclaimed "epidemic" by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Advocating that urgent attention be paid to managing development by emulating the smart growth examples of European cities, the book's final section offers readers tools to rebuild community in their lives as well as in society at large. It offers practical solutions that can improve everyone's quality of life.
Provocative and thoughtful, It's a Sprawl World After All also includes a helpful resource listing of organizations committed to making communities more sustainable.
Douglas E. Morris is a freelance writer whose 14 years of experience living outside the United States in a number of safe urban areas has given him unique insights into cross-cultural urban comparisons. He has published numerous articles on the topic in the last seven years.