The New Urban Century: Dealing With Sprawl In The Future City One of the first hurdles to making

the city sustainable in the developed world is sprawl. This is often considered a gestalt – one of those ineffable, know-it-when-you-seeit phenomena. But in fact, sprawl can be almost embarrassingly easy to classify: it is characteri ed not by its density or lack thereof, but by its configuration. !prawl consists mainly of five "easy# pieces: suburban housing $perhaps apartments, but usually singlefamily homes%& shopping malls and other retail areas& civic institutions, such as schools& business parks and other commercial office space& and most importantly, the parking, highways, roads and other automotive transportation infrastructure that connects all of these elements with one another. 'nd the automobile is essential& given its privilege in this environment, all spaces seem outsi ed, immense, and even hostile without it. (ven with the ostensible simplicity $or more accurately, the inertia% of design afforded by this program, sprawl seems highly dis)ointed and discontinuous. 'gain, this is by design: the strict separation of uses that characteri es sprawl vis-*-vis more classical neighborhoods is built into a rigid (uclidian oning code which mandates such. Beyond this, even ad)acent uses refuse to connect, instead putting forward intimidating barriers to pedestrian entry and cross-traffic. $+n fact, given the piecemeal private nature of sprawl development, even ad)acent neighborhoods with similar land uses refuse otherwise natural street connections, terminating the road in two culs-de-sac divided by a berm.% ,eedless to say, this order of development is highly alienating to pedestrians. But it even alienates its own residents: much of the open space sprawl was designed for is offlimits, unusable $psychologically or otherwise% to the people that own it, live around it or are otherwise e-pected to use it. 's a result of this, private developments are designed to be self-contained, as it is obvious that very little of value e-ists outside the office, home or shopping mall. .owever, in many cases, they are decidedly not. !ome of this was unintentional. .owever, much of this was e-ists as a result of law, philosophy, and policy, both public and private. These policies of the /nited !tates and many of its largest corporations from the 0123s forward were intended to dismantle the "slum# conditions then perceived to e-ist in the city and replace them with an urban domain whose basis was the automobile. This was in its time seen as a utopian vision: the 0121 "4uturama# 5orld6s 4air pavilion was massively popular in its depiction of what

we would now recogni e as a conventional suburban development. $'s a corollary, it was much cheaper to provide the massive 7uantities of housing e-pected in time for the postwar Baby Boom beyond the legal reach of the city. These new homes were necessarily only accessible by car, shutting out those dependent on transit systems, which were ultimately systematically dismantled by automotive interests.% 't the time, /.!. housing policy was increasingly focused on homeownership, particularly among married whites and veterans. /nfortunately, these same policies $in addition to oning regulations% shut out many others from attaining this new "'merican 8ream#. 'lso important were the basic modernist ideas behind suburbia, taken to their most abstract by 9e :orbusier and his followers, whose intention was to increase the 7uantity of valuable public space and personal privacy, but who broke from the original modernist convention by developing an aesthetic program of disconnected architectural forms that have very little relationship to each other, much less to the user, whose consideration should be paramount in any work of planning. +t will take a significant effort in the ;0st century to undo these mistakes, however well-intended, of the ;3th.

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