A Better Place to Live: Reshaping the American Suburb

Philip Langdon, Author
Philip Langdon, Author University of Massachusetts Press $29.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-87023-914-4
Reviewed on: 05/30/1994
Release date: 06/01/1994
Paperback - 270 pages - 978-0-06-097661-3
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-1-55849-106-9
Open Ebook - 285 pages - 978-0-585-13903-6
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American suburbs foster social isolation, dependence on the automobile, long commutes and segregation of land use, thereby contributing to family distress and civic decay. That damning verdict by Langdon ( Urban Excellence ), who crisscrossed the U.S. over the past 10 years, informs a much-needed and visionary critique of suburban planning and lifestyles. Among his proposals: organize communities around well-defined public spaces; create generous networks of streets and sidewalks that encourage people to explore their neighborhood; design houses oriented to facilitating residents' interactions and daily involvement in community. Policymakers and developers, in Langdon's view, ought to encourage pedestrian-scale, affordable suburbs--with shopping, services and employment close to home. Compelling reading for those concerned with the declining quality of life, his well-illustrated analysis will serve as a sourcebook for planners, architects, builders and designers. (June)