Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

The Encyclopedia of Housing

Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

The Encyclopedia of Housing

Article excerpt

The Encyclopedia of Housing. 2nd ed. Ed. by Andrew T. Carswell. Los Angeles: Sage Reference, 2012. 2 vols. $375 (ISBN 978-1-4129-8957-2).

The second edition of The Encyclopedia of Housing is a timely update for housing research after the recent economic turmoil and mortgage crisis in the United States. Editor Andrew T. Carswell aspired to accurately portray the multidisciplinary field of housing studies today. The result is a two-volume encyclopedia with over 250 diverse entries ranging from housing finance and environmental concerns to development patterns and innovative housing technologies.

Willem van Vliet's previous edition of The Encyclopedia of Housing (SAGE Publications, 1998) was a pioneer volume in housing reference since it featured a broad scope of articles rather than the narrow focus on terminology as in Kamel S. Sayegh's Housing: A Multidisciplinary Dictionary (ABCD-Academy Book, 1987) and Jack Rostron and Michael A. Nutt's Dictionary of Housing (Arena, 1997). The two-hundred-plus contributing authors featured in each edition of The Encyclopedia of Housing are experts from academic institutions, government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and private firms. The multidisciplinary nature of housing research includes subjects like urban planning, landscape architecture, sociology, anthropology, political science, and law. Since the encyclopedia covers so many disciplines, it thoroughly introduces topics instead of supplying a complete comprehensive analysis on one subject area.

With research developments and the change in economic conditions over the past fifteen years, the updated and new content is pertinent and thought provoking. New topics such as "Subprime Mortgage Crisis" and the "Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP)" adequately summarize contemporary events and their root causes. The themes of sustainability, development, and planning are prominent throughout entries like "Green Building," "New Urbanism," and "Smart Growth." The encyclopedia also touches on select racial, ethnic, gender, and age group issues in relation to housing. …

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