Sprawl: It Can't Happen Here

Newsweek columnist Anna Quindlen shares her perspective on one of the greatest crisis facing the nation: sprawl.
August 25, 2004, 9am PDT | Chris Steins | @urbaninsight
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"The unchecked development that's earned the suitably ugly name of sprawl isn't regulated by one government group and doesn't surface often as a national issue. It takes place town by town, building by building, overseen by state and local authorities and driven by the profit motive. And its net effect is usually noticed when it is already out of hand, when the wells run brown with mud...

It is easy to blame such developers, and the officials who have given them a pass. But neither group proceeds with stealth. In state after state, town after town, their actions have made their mandate clear: it's not the long view of the natural world that motivates them, but the short-term goal of cash. It's the mindset of ordinary people that is harder to countenance. Many have the attitude toward development that we once had toward smoking: sure it's bad, but it won't be a problem for me."

Thanks to The Practice of New Urbanism

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Published on Monday, August 23, 2004 in Newsweek
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