Geography of Nowhere: The Rise and Declineof America's Man-Made Landscape (Paperback)
This pop history of urban planning and architecture in America opened my eyes to the ways our built environment has contributed to so many of the social problems we face today. Kunstler was a vocal critic of suburban sprawl starting in the early 1990’s and helped popularize New Urbanist design themes, which emphasized walk-able & bike-able neighborhoods and mixed use village-style planning. Part of my love for downtown Carrollton, where our other bookshop is located, and for Serenbe was explained to me by this book, celebrating the human scaled intimacy of pre-automobile urban village design. Kunstler’s biting sense of humor makes learning about the dark and sad history of America’s urban planning (or lackthereof) a less bitter pill to swallow.— From Josh's Picks
The Geography of Nowhere traces America's evolution from a nation of Main Streets and coherent communities to a land where every place is like no place in particular, where the cities are dead zones and the countryside is a wasteland of cartoon architecture and parking lots.
In elegant and often hilarious prose, Kunstler depicts our nation's evolution from the Pilgrim settlements to the modern auto suburb in all its ghastliness. The Geography of Nowhere tallies up the huge economic, social, and spiritual costs that America is paying for its car-crazed lifestyle. It is also a wake-up call for citizens to reinvent the places where we live and work, to build communities that are once again worthy of our affection. Kunstler proposes that by reviving civic art and civic life, we will rediscover public virtue and a new vision of the common good. "The future will require us to build better places," Kunstler says, "or the future will belong to other people in other societies."
About the Author
James Howard Kunstler is the author of eight novels. He has worked as a newspaper reporter and an editor for Rolling Stone, and is a frequent contributor to The New York Times Sunday Magazine. He lives in upstate New York.
A wonderfully entertaining useful and provocative account of the American environment by the auto, suburban developers, purblind zoning and corporate pirates.
author of The End of Nature
A Funny, Angry, Colossally Important Tour of Our Built Landscape, Our Human Ecology.
The New Yorker
A serious attempt to point out ways future builders can avoid the errors that have marred the American landscape.
James G. Garrison
The Christian Science Monitor
Contributes to a discussion our society must hold if we are to shape our world as it continues to change at a dizzying pace.
The New York Times
Provocative and entertaining.