Sprawl Retrofit Resources

Below, readers will find a number of print and online resources which will familiarize them with the sprawl retrofit movement.

CNU's Resources

Sprawl Retrofit Presentation - This presentation provides an overview for the reasons to retrofit sprawl and outlines some of the techniques for implementation (PLEASE NOTE - this document is large and may take a few minutes to load.)

Unbearable Cost of Sprawl - A white paper by the Sprawl Retrofit Initiative that reviews the challenges, myths and principles of restructuring sprawl development.

Suburban Office Parks Webinar by Ellen Dunham-Jones, for EcoBuildingPulse.

Recommending Readings


The Smart Growth Manual by Andres Duany, Jeff Speck, Mike Lydon, 2009.

Retrofitting Suburbia: Urban Design Solutions for Redesigning Suburbs by Ellen Dunham-Jones, June Williamson, 2011.

Sprawl Repair Manual by Galina Tachieva, 2010.

A Legal Guide to Urban and Sustainable Development for Planners, Developers and Architects by Daniel Slone, Doris Goldstein, with Andrew Gowder, 2008.

Redesigning Cities: Principles, Practice, Implementation by Jonathan Barnett, 2003.

Place Making: Developing Town Centers, Main Streets, and Urban Villages by Charles Bohl, 2002.

Sustainable and Resilient Communities: A Comprehensive Action Plan for Towns, Cities and Regions by Stephen Coyle, 2011.

Sustainable Urbanism: Urban Design with Nature by Douglas Farr, 2008.

Bourgeois Utopias by Robert Fishman, 1987.

The Great Reset: How New Ways of Living and Working Drive Post-Crash Prosperity by Richard Florida, 2010.

Crabgrass Frontier: The Suburbanization of the United States by Kenneth Jackson, 1985.

Light Imprint Handbook: Integrating Sustainability and Community Design by Thomas Low, 2010.

The Great Good Place: Cafés, Coffee Shops, Community Centers, Beauty Parlors, General Stores, Bars, Hangouts, and How They Get You through the Day. by Ray Oldenburg, 1997.

Greyfields into Goldfields: Dead Malls become Living Neighborhoods by Lee Sobel, 2002.

Online Resources


Build a Better Burb

Center for Applied Transect Studies

Red Fields to Green Fields Initiative

PARK(ing) Day

Strong Towns Curbside Chat Booklet


Long Island Index

Mid-America Regional Council’s First Suburbs Coalition(Kansas City)

Regional Plan Association of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, program on Community Design


Walk Score

The Cost of Sprawl

Center for Transportation Technology Housing + Transportation Affordability Index


Community design, street networks, and public health by Garrick Norman, Daniel Piatkowski, Wesley Marshall, August 2014.

Compact, Walkable, Diverse Neighborhoods:Assessing Effects on Residents by Emily Talen, Julia Koschinski, February 2014.

The death and rebirth of the mall. You don’t drive there, you live there by Dave MgGinn, July 2013.

Interview of Ellen Dunham-Jones about retrofitting suburbia by Christina Hernandez Sherwood, March 2013.

From Sprawlvilles to Sustainable Suburbs: Ideas to Attract Private-Sector Investment in Suburban Improvement Projects in an Era of Reduced Public Support by Errol Cowan, February 2013.

Interview of Ellen Dunham-Jones about big design project for the next generation by Matt Bevilacqua, February 2012.

Sprawl retrofit: sustainable urban form in unsustainable places by Emily Talen, November 2011.

Beyond Foreclosure: The Future of Suburban Housing by Aron Chang, September 2011.

Sprawl Repair: What It Is and Why We Need It by Galina Tachieva, October 2010.

From sprawl to complete communities - extract from Sprawl Repair manual by Galina Tachieva, 2010.

The Need for Alternatives to the Nineteen Standard Real Estate Product Types by Christopher Leinberger, 2005.

The Next 100 Million by Arthur Nelson, Robert Lang, January 2007.

Growing Sustainable Suburbs: An Incremental Strategy for Reconstructing Sprawl by Lucien Steil, Nikos Salingaros, Michael Mehaffy, 2007.

Retrofitting Suburbia by Ellen Dunham-Jones, 2005.

Hidden in Plain Sight: Capturing the Demand for Housing near Transit by Center for Transit-Oriented Development (CTOD), September 2004.

Seeking Urbane Parking Solutions by Neal Payton and Brian O'Looney, 2006.

The Anatomy of Sprawl by Brenda Case Scheer, 2001.





If you wish to join the Retrofit - Repair Listserv, send a (blank) email to Retrofit-Repair@googlegroups.com


For more information, contact: Alex McKeag CNU Program Manager amckeag@cnu.org

The Sprawl Retrofit Initiative has been made possible by the generous support of the members of the Congress for the New Urbanism.