Twentieth-Century Sprawl: Highways and the Reshaping of the American Landscape by Owen D. Gutfreund

Twentieth-Century Sprawl: Highways and the Reshaping of the American Landscape

byOwen D. Gutfreund

Paperback | October 15, 2005

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Here, Owen Gutfreund offers a fascinating look at how highways have dramatically transformed American communities nationwide, aiding growth and development in unsettled areas and undermining existing urban centers. Gutfreund uses a "follow the money" approach, showing how government policies subsidized suburban development and fueled a chronic nationwide dependence on cars and roadbuilding, with little regard for expense, efficiency, ecological damage, or social equity. The consequence was a combination ofunstoppable suburban sprawl, along with ballooning municipal debt burdens, deteriorating center cities, and profound changes in American society and culture. Gutfreund tells the story via case studies of three communities--Denver, Colorado; Middlebury, Vermont; and Smyrna, Tennessee. Different as these places are, they all show the ways that government-sponsored highway development radically transformed America's cities and towns. Based on original research and vividly written, Twentieth-Century Sprawl brings to light the benefits and consequences of the spread of American highways and makes a major contribution to our understanding of issues that still plague our cities and suburbs today.

About The Author

Owen Gutfreund teaches history and Urban Studies at Barnard College and is Director of the Columbia University Urban Studies Program.

Details & Specs

Title:Twentieth-Century Sprawl: Highways and the Reshaping of the American LandscapeFormat:PaperbackDimensions:320 pages, 5.98 × 9.09 × 0.91 inPublished:October 15, 2005Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195189078

ISBN - 13:9780195189070

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"In Twentieth-Century Sprawl, Owen Gutfreund challenges prevailing myths equating highway construction with equity and choice to show how competition over finances, route ways, and political authority gave rise to cross-sectoral coalitions among advocates from rural roads, inter-metropolitanparkways, and a national system of primary motorways. Through a carefully selected set of case studies the author links policy with practice and we come to see our contemporary urban landscape anew, as the product of specialized knowledge, narrow definitions of the public good, and a surprisingdegree of ad hoc planning."--Greg Hise, School of Policy, Planning and Development, USC