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Suburban Nation The Rise of Sprawl and the Decline of the American Dream Written by Andres Duany, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, and Jeff Speck Presented by Jessica Morton, Joe Dumais, and Katie Hooker Authors’ Information

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suburban nation

Suburban Nation

The Rise of Sprawl and the Decline of the American Dream

Written by Andres Duany, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, and Jeff Speck

Presented by Jessica Morton, Joe Dumais, and Katie Hooker

authors information
Authors’ Information
  • Duany and Plater-Zyberk work at a firm designing community-based neighborhoods.
  • Speck works with them as the director of town planning
  • Plater-Zyberk works as the Dean

of the School of Architecture at

the University of Miami.

sprawl investigation
Sprawl Investigation
  • What is sprawl?
    • Where does it come from and what are the ramifications?
  • Why should we care about sprawl?
    • What problems does it pose and what are the health risks?
  • What can we do about sprawl?
    • What are the alternatives to sprawl and how can we change our neighborhoods?
introduction
Introduction
  • Faulty, outdated procedure has economic and quality of life impacts. Suburban sprawl is a symptom of this faulty system; the answer is a return to traditional neighborhood models.
      • “The deck [is] already stacked against healthy growth by municipal regulations and engineering conventions.” (101)
  • These conclusions are made with the understanding that:
    • Growth cannot be stopped
    • Profit-motive is not the problem with development
    • Most issues are inter-related
what is sprawl
What is Sprawl?

Defining Sprawl

Origins

Components

Consequences

Photo obtained from Jstor.

defining sprawl
Defining Sprawl
  • Sprawl - To be distributed in an awkward or uneven manner, esp. as to take up more space than is necessary.
  • Suburban Sprawl – Unchecked, uncoordinated, haphazard growth outward, esp. resulting from real estate development on the outskirts of a city. The spreading of urban development into areas adjoining the edge of a city.

Obtained on Google images

the origins of sprawl
The Origins of Sprawl
  • The popularity of the automobile
  • Policies of such programs as the Federal Housing Administration and the Veterans Administration
    • “As long as zoning codes favor low-density development over the creation of compact communities, developers will not be able to shake their reputation as land rapists, as they turn farm after farm into cookie-cutter sprawl.” (100)
    • “Even more culpable in this scenario are those surprisingly powerful advisors to the development industry, the market experts.” (101)

Levittown, the original subdivision

Photo obtained from Google.

sprawl planning decisions creating the components of sprawl
Sprawl Planning Decisions: Creating the Components of Sprawl
  • Low-density land use
  • Single-use zoning
  • Fast food chains, built at sites of future development
  • Focus on highway and parking infrastructure over public spaces
the components of sprawl
Housing subdivisions

Shopping centers

Business parks

Civic institutions

Roadways

The Components of Sprawl

All photos were obtained from Google.

consequences of sprawl
Consequences of Sprawl
  • Car-dependent communities
  • Increased fossil fuel reliance and pollution
  • Traffic congestion and increased traffic fatalities
  • Decline in social capital
  • Class segregation in residential areas (housing types grouped together, like with like, McMansion with McMansion)
  • Increased likelihood of obesity and crime
suburban sprawl unmasked
Suburban Sprawl Unmasked
  • “Subdivisions can be identified as such by their contrived names, which tend towards the romantic – Pheasant Mill Crossing – and often pay tribute to the natural or historic resource they have displaced.” (5)
  • “The contemporary office park is usually made of boxes in parking lots. Still imagined as a pastoral workplace isolated in nature…in practice it is more likely to be surrounded by highways than by countryside.” (6)
if it has
If it has…
  • A center
  • A five-minute walk
  • A street network
  • Narrow, versatile streets
  • Mixed-use zoning
  • Special building sites (example: areas for a farmers market)

…then it’s not sprawl

slide13
Sprawl Models

Sprawl Resistant: Traditional Neighborhood Model

Photos obtained from Google

www.dpz.com

activity
*Activity*
  • Here’s your neighborhood problem: traffic congestion
  • Tools you can use to combat it: design, policy, or management
    • An example: You can choose to solve the problem of crime by using design – eliminating potential hiding places and using beautiful and durable materials to display high standards of civic care; by using policy – having zoning regulations require entries and windows to face public spaces; or by using management – having the local cops get to know residents and develop a relationship with the community
problems of urban sprawl
Problems of Urban Sprawl
  • Zoning
  • Isolation and Segregation
  • Reliance on Cars and the Traffic Problem
  • Lack of community
  • Resources inefficiency
  • Loss of talent/jobs/resources for cities
the problem with zoning
The Problem with Zoning
  • Tends to make more efficient mixed land use illegal.
  • Separates everything from everything else.
  • Promotes auto-travel reliant society.
  • Creates segregated blocks of space rather than communities.
isolation and segregation
Isolation and Segregation
  • Creates isolated blocks of space rather than integrated communities
  • Segregates residents by separating housing types
  • Creates a “Move out to move up” lifestyle
isolation and segregation18
Isolation and Segregation
  • Leads to Fragile Neighborhoods
  • Enforces sameness and encourages discrimination and intolerance.

All photos were obtained from Google.

reliance on cars and the traffic problem
Reliance on Cars and the Traffic Problem
  • Creates an area entirely dependent on cars for travel
  • Because of this dependence, design focuses on unimpeded auto travel.
  • While good for cars, this is detrimental to other forms of travel such as walking or biking
  • Pedestrian danger increases as well as drivers feel safer speeding and driving carelessly
reliance on cars and the traffic problem20
Reliance on Cars and the Traffic Problem
  • The Auto-reliant system requires massive road construction
  • As more roads are constructed, more people take advantage of them producing induced traffic congestion
  • Traffic congestion motivates construction of more new roads, which in turn induce more traffic
the lack of community in the sprawl
The Lack of Community in the Sprawl
  • The highly segregated car dependent system requires people to spend much of their time driving
  • Instead of interacting meaningfully with others, people spend most of their time competing with them for road access
the lack of community in the sprawl22
The Lack of Community in the Sprawl
  • Remaining time not spent driving is spent confined in the cookie cutter housing cluster
  • With nothing to differentiate any given suburban sprawl area from another, a sense of unique place fails to develop
  • Without a sense of place or opportunities to meaningfully interact with each other, communities fail to form and people are left in a void
resource inefficiency
Resource Inefficiency
  • New Suburban sprawl areas require massive amounts of resource expenditure to create.
  • The isolated and auto-reliant setup waste huge amounts of time and energy in transit
  • Huge amounts of resources are also expended on maintaining and expanding roadways
what the cities lose
What the Cities Lose
  • Suburbs are perceived as better places to live, thus those who can leave the cities do so
  • Businesses leave along with the people
  • The poor who are unable to leave are left behind in an economically weakening area
  • This leaves cities with a shrinking resource base with which to try and deal with increasing problems
what the cities lose25
What the Cities Lose
  • This in turn further motivates people to leave, which further worsens the situation, creating a vicious cycle

All photos were obtained from Google.

model exceptions
Old communities

No population growth

Where city infill is possible

When it will promote:

Unnecessary automobile use

Unnecessary greenfield development

Model Exceptions:
the duany plater zyberk and speck plan
The Duany, Plater-Zyberk, and Speck Plan
  • Mixed-use development
  • Connectivity
  • Discipline of the neighborhood
  • Making transit work

www.Google.com/images

mixed use development
Mixed-Use Development
  • Residence
  • Shopping center
  • Workplace
  • Civic buildings
connectivity
Connectivity
  • Neighborhoods should meet
  • Avoid collector roads
  • Highways should skirt towns
discipline of the neighborhood
Discipline of the Neighborhood
  • Pedestrian Shed
    • “the five minute walk”
  • Use natural features
  • Zone buildings by size
  • “Pocket parks”
  • Culture to nature
  • Urban to rural

Rural preserve Suburban

General

urban

Urban

center

Urban

core

making transit work
Making Transit Work
  • Frequent and predictable
  • Direct, logical route
  • Safe and dignified stops

www.tfhrc.gov

the specifics of the tnd plan
The Specifics of the TND Plan
  • The Streets
  • The Buildings
  • The Parking
  • The Style
the streets
The Streets
  • Residential street
  • Yield streets
    • Travel lanes 10 ft.
    • Parking lanes 7 ft.

Westhaven

Katrina Cottage

the buildings
The Buildings
  • Houses close to street
  • Encourage sociability
  • Retail without setbacks
  • Taller is better
parking and style
Parking and Style
  • Mixed-use parking
  • “If every building were to croon at once, nothing could be discerned from the cacophony” (211).
activity let s try it again
*Activity* ~ let’s try it again
  • Here’s your neighborhood problem: traffic congestion
  • Tools you can use to combat it: design, policy, or management. Use the knowledge we’ve given you; try utilizing a different tool this time.
    • An example: You can choose to combat the problem of crime by using design – eliminating potential hiding places and using beautiful and durable materials to display high standards of civic care; by using policy – having zoning regulations require entries and windows to face public spaces; or by using management – having the local cops get to know residents and develop a relationship with the community
government
MUNICIPAL AND COUNTY GOV

Agenda setting

Rewrite regulations

TND ordinance

Be proactive

Think Globally

Public participation

Set an example

REGIONAL GOV

Create strong regional governments

Create detailed plans

Create physical plans

Government
government cont
STATE GOV

“Tough love” programs

Affordable housing

Educational goals

FEDERAL GOV

Public transportation

Tax policies

Federal incentives

Equal education resource distribution

Coordinate policies

Public support for Private initiatives

Government cont.
conclusion
Conclusion
  • A faulty, misguided system gives birth to suburban sprawl, which needs to be replaced by healthy, traditional neighborhood models.
    • Batavia, Illinois
    • Appleton, Wisconsin
    • Portland, Oregon
discussion
Discussion:
  • Of your solutions to the traffic congestion problem, which would be most effective? Why?
  • How realistic is the TND model?
  • How do the authors’ professions affect your opinion of their solution?