Sprawl Repair

Many American architects and planners want to turn their  post World War 2 suburbs into neighbourhoods with a sense of place.  Galina Tachieva, the author of the Sprawl Repair Manual, and Ellen Dunham-Jones and June Williamson, who wrote Retrofitting Suburbia, would like  to make dormitory towns designed for car owners more like traditional cities, more densely populated (see illustration below from the Sprawl Repair Manual) and with traditional high streets — rather than shopping malls — that can be reached on foot.  London is the original sprawling city and the ribbon development along the A4 and A40 which swallowed the county of Middlesex  has a lot with the United States in the era of the Interstate Highways. Galina Tachieva, who works for a Florida-based practice specialising in the  ‘New Urbanism‘, feels that Middlesex would be a prime candidate but hadn’t in her researches come across any examples here. It is sure that more people will live in the suburbs, especially if there is successful resistance to building on the Green Belt, as urged by commentators such as Simon Jenkins, a former chairman of the National Trust. What is missing, especially since the abolition of Middlesex County Council, is a public body that’s specifically tasked with turning sprawl into  livable neighbourhoods resistent to  the gravitational pull of central London. sprawl repair

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