Sprawl. The word calls to mind a host of troublesome issues such as city flight, runaway suburban development, and the conversion of farmland to soulless housing developments. In Sprawltown, architectural historian Richard Ingersoll makes the surprising claim that sprawl is an inevitable reality of modern life that should be addressed more thoughtfully and recognized as its own new form of urbanism rather than simply being criticized and condemned.
In five thought-provoking chapters, covering topics such as tourism, film, and the automobile, Ingersoll takes the position that any solution to the problems of sprawl—including pressing issues like resource use and energy waste—must take into consideration its undeniable success as a social milieu. No screed against the suburb, this book offers a more sophisticated and nuanced view of the way we think about its rapid development and growth.