Sprawl Retrofit Resources

The Sprawl Retrofit Initiative creates policy proposals, regulatory frameworks, a database on successes and opportunities, and a “toolkit” of design strategies in order to reverse the trend of sprawl seen in this country and around the world. Below, readers will find a number of print and online resources to familiarize them with the burgeoning sprawl retrofit movement.

Recommending Reading

  • Retrofitting Suburbia - Dunham-Jones, Ellen and June Williamson. Retrofitting Suburbia: Urban Design Solutions for Redesigning Suburbs: Updated Edition. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2011
  • Sprawl Repair - Tachieva, Galina. Sprawl Repair Manual. Washington, DC: Island Press, 2010.
  • A Legal Guide to Urban and Sustainable Development for Planners, Developers and Architects Slone, Daniel and Doris Goldstein with Andrew Gowder. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2008.
  • Redesigning Cities: Principles, Practice, Implementation Barnett, Jonathan. Chicago: APA Planners Press, 2003.
  • Place Making: Developing Town Centers, Main Streets, and Urban Villages Bohl, Charles C. Washington, D.C.: Urban Land Institute, 2002.
  • Sustainable and Resilient Communities: A Comprehensive Action Plan for Towns, Cities and Regions Coyle, Stephen. John Wiley & Sons, 2011.
  • The Smart Growth Manual Duany, Andres, Jeff Speck, and Mike Lydon. McGraw Hill Professional, 2009.
  • Sustainable Urbanism: Urban Design with Nature Farr, Douglas. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 2008.
  • Bourgeois Utopias Fishman, Robert. New York: Basic Books, 1987.
  • The Great Reset: How New Ways of Living and Working Drive Post-Crash Prosperity Florida, Richard. New York: Harper Collins, 2010.
  • Frontier: The Suburbanization of the United States Jackson, Kenneth T. Crabgrass. Oxford University Press, 1985.
  • Light Imprint Handbook: Integrating Sustainability and Community Design Low, Thomas A. Civic By Design, 2010.
  • The Great Good Place: Cafés, Coffee Shops, Community Centers, Beauty Parlors, General Stores, Bars, Hangouts, and How They Get You through the Day. Oldenburg, Ray. New York: Marlowe, 1997.
  • Greyfields into Goldfields: Dead Malls become Living Neighborhoods Sobel, Lee, et.al. San Francisco: Congress for the New Urbanism. 2002.

Online Resources


The Unbearable Cost of Sprawl Mehaffy, Michael and Tachieva, Galina. The Atlantic Cities: Place Matters. November 3, 2011.
In Defense of Portland's Orenco Station Mehaffy, Michael. The Atlantic Cities: Place Matters. October 18, 2011.
Beyond Foreclosure: The Future of Suburban Housing Chang, Aron. The Design Observer Group. September 14, 2011.
Sprawl Repair: What It Is and Why We Need It Tachieva, Galina. Planetizen. October 18, 2010.
The Need for Alternatives to the Nineteen Standard Real Estate Product Types Leinberger, Christopher B. Places 17:2
The Next 100 Million Nelson, Arthur C. & Lang, Robert. E. Planning, January 2007.
Growing Sustainable Suburbs: An Incremental Strategy for Reconstructing Sprawl Katarxis Urban Workshops: Lucien Steil (President), Nikos A. Salingaros (Vice President), & Michael W. Mehaffy (Secretary)
Hidden in Plain Sight: Capturing the Demand for Housing near Transit Center for Transit-Oriented Development. (Oakland, CA: Reconnecting America, September 2004, revised April 2005.
Retrofitting Suburbia - Dunham-Jones, Ellen, and June Williamson, guest editors. Places 17:2 (Summer 2005)
Seeking Urbane Parking Solutions Payton, Neal and Brian O’Looney. Places 18:1 (Spring 2006).
The Anatomy of Sprawl Scheer, Brenda Case. Places 14:2 (2001).
Planning Densification from the Start Smith, Mark Rodman. Urban Land (June 2009): 80-83.
Reinventing Main Street: From Mall to Townscape Mall Southworth, Michael. Journal of Urban Design 10:2 (June 2005): 151–170.
Preparing for Takeoff Barbaro, Nick. The Austin Chronicle. October 21, 2011.
Tactical Urbanists Converge on New York Langdon, Phil. New Urban News October 15, 2011

Other 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.





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