People who live in compact traditional towns have far smaller environmental footprints than those who live in sprawling suburbs. Is urban sprawl inevitable? Are there better ways of getting about? And can 60 million people crammed into a land bulging at the seams ever find ways of treating it with respect?
This book argues that we should look for the answer to America – the country that embraced urban sprawl and car dependency on a far grander scale than we ever did. There is much we can learn from its ‘Smart Growth’ movement, which is successfully arguing for compact cities, rail-based transit systems and restoring communities decayed by decades of self-centred suburban life.
Shows how urban sprawl is unsustainable in an age of climate change and peak oil
Challenges the UK to develop a ‘Smart Growth’ approach to improve the quality of life in our overcrowded island
Contents include: Part I – How we got here: A squandered land; Decline and sprawl - a century of spatial planning; The death and life of great British cities
Part II – Where we are: An unsustainable communities plan; Climate change; America – land of dreams
Part III – Where we need to be: Care and maintenance of a small country - smart growth planning; Smart Growth transport; A Smart Growth vision
About the Author
Jon Reeds is an environmental journalist who has worked alongside and written about planners and transport planners for nearly forty years. In 2006 he helped found Smart Growth UK, a national coalition engaged in promoting Smart Growth principles as a way of bringing a strong sustainable development ethos into the way we plan spatial development, transport, and communities. ...