Sprawl: A Compact History

By Robert Bruegmann | Go to book overview
Save to active project

The Second Anti-sprawl Campaign: The United States
in the Postwar Years

With Europe's population and economy decimated, the United States became the most important battlefield in the war against sprawl in the first decades after World War II. What triggered this new campaign was the prosperity of the 1950s and 1960s and the resulting building boom. As in the booms of the 1880s and the 1920s, the majority of the new growth took place at the periphery and at lower densities than ever before. It appears that lot sizes in subdivisions in the United States, which had been expanding since the late nineteenth century, reached their apogee in the 1950s when a large number of American families were able to purchase suburban lots of a quarter acre or even larger. Even if the settlement had been much more compact, however, increases in population and affluence of the magnitude seen in the United States in the postwar years would have necessitated a vast amount of building, and all of this new construction would have led to severe strains on the existing urban systems. By the middle of the 1950s, a strong reaction against decentralization and suburbanization was underway among urban professionals.1

Fortune Magazine Conference

In the late 1950s the topic of sprawl caught the eye of journalist William H. Whyte, a young and precocious staff member at Fortune magazine who was already well known for a pioneering study of the postwar suburban community of Park Forest, outside Chicago. Whyte convened what was probably the first


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Sprawl: A Compact History


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 301

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?