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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Sprawl: A Compact History (Author: Robert Bruegmann)


Search a well-stocked library or bookstore for works on urban form and you might reach the same conclusion drawn by Robert Bruegmann: "Most of what has been written about sprawl to date has been written about com­ plaints" (p. 3). But what separates Bruegmann, a professor of art history, architecture, and urban planning at the University of Illinois at Chicago, from most people is what he does next. "[S]o many 'right-minded' people were so vociferous on the subject that I began to suspect that there must be something suspicious about the argument itself" (p. 8). The result of this questioning is a work lauded by Alexander Garvin on the book's jacket as no less than "the most important book on the American landscape since Jane Jacobs' The Death and Life of Great American Cities". This surprisingly ebullient endorsement from one of the most public personalities in city planning should make us all take notice.

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