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Sprawl Repair Manual

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  57 ratings  ·  9 reviews
There is a wealth of research and literature explaining suburban sprawl and the urgent need to retrofit suburbia. However, until now there has been no single guide that directly explains how to repair typical sprawl elements. The Sprawl Repair Manual demonstrates a step-by-step design process for the re-balancing and re-urbanization of suburbia into more sustainable, econo ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published September 24th 2010 by Island Press (first published July 22nd 2010)
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Jun 30, 2011 rated it liked it
It's told from an architect's point of view, so it's great at allowing you to imagine how the sprawliest suburbs of today could be retrofitted for density and walkability. The pictures are fantastic. It doesn't, however, really take seriously the idea that the suburbs are how they are for a reason. Sure, you could put a row of mews through the backyards of a line of McMansions, but what would it take for that to happen? And yes, you could redesign gas stations to put pedestrian uses along the si ...more
May 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
Very insightful guide that outlines practical methods for the difficult task of converting suburban landscapes into a traditional urban form. It contains a surprising amount of detail in some cases. There are dedicated chapters for multiple categories of sprawl, including neighborhoods, strip malls, big-box centers, parking structures, sports stadiums, and many others. Some of the solutions seem obvious, but others are quite innovative. It contains a large number of illustrations, which are gene ...more
Jan 19, 2020 rated it liked it
Very torn about this book.
Pros: delightful imaginings of possible futures for what will almost inevitably be an outdated building mode. Good illustrations to facilitate thinking.

Cons: every solution in this book involves coordinated efforts at the local, state, and possibly federal level on both political and legal fronts. Property would have to seized and re-allocated. That’s a challenge, for sure, especially in our country where property rights are paramount. It almost makes it seem willfull
Jan 11, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cities
I enjoyed this book, although it is really more of a desk reference or guide. The illustrations were helpful in understanding the recommended repairs for various types of suburban sprawl. I would have preferred more real-life examples of sprawl repair instead of sketches. I also felt the book was repetitive at times as the same solution (densification and infill construction) was suggested for many of the sprawl repairs. Interesting overall!
Jun 26, 2018 rated it it was ok
Seem pretty specific to some american planning concepts. Lots and lots and lots of parking.
May 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent book for practitioners in urban design or planning. Highly visual, it inspires some fantastic design ideas for sprawling neighbourhoods with less emphasis on text or the usual historical sprawl narrative that preludes almost every book relating to suburbs. I love that I can just pick the book up and flip to a section to quickly see design strategies for whatever kind of suburban landscape I can think of, without having to sit down and work through bulky and unnecessary text ...more
Alan Cunningham
Apr 21, 2014 rated it it was ok
This is not so much a book as a reference work, like a dictionary. A great reference for rebuilding for walkability in many different situations

My difficulty with this is that it is written like an English dictionary that spares no opportunity to demote French.
Jun 12, 2012 rated it liked it
Excellent ideas and imagery, though not a very exciting read. Formulaic and repetitive. The illustrations are a highlight.
David Mcphee
Dec 30, 2010 marked it as to-read
important book - we need to turn solutions to spawl into market choice for suburbanites already the choice of a new generation.
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