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March 22, 2012

"The Sprawling of America" (video review)

Alex MacLean, Highway interchange, Detroit, Michigan, 1995
© Alex MacLean / Landslides
Source: AAEL Digital Image Collection

The Sprawling of America

This excellent two-part documentary takes an in depth look at the early beginnings and increasing drawbacks of suburban sprawl in Michigan. The film particularly studies the example of Detroit, covering how the 1940’s housing crisis and racial tension in the city led to the depopulation of Detroit and the expansion of the suburbs. Aggravated by government policies that supported suburbs and the lack of public transportation in Detroit, the suburban way of life has become increasingly unsustainable and detrimental to the city. The growth of suburbs has also affected rural areas and farming in negative ways, rapidly decreasing the availability of land for food production. Yet, all is not lost. While Detroit is not the only city in the U.S. to be suffering from these problems, there are cities that are working to make their city centers vital, living communities and to reduce the suburban sprawl. From the east coast to the west coast new policies are being explored that value sustainable land use and the increasing walkability and livability of a city, and provide valuable ideas for the city of Detroit and other U.S. cities suffering from sprawl.

This video is among the many available to borrow from Imageworks in the Art, Architecture and Engineering Library. Search for videos in Mirlyn or in our video database.

Posted by rmassare at March 22, 2012 10:00 AM


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