On Thursday, I’m going to be chatting with Anthony Flint, author of This Land: The Battle Over Sprawl and the Future of America.
Despite a modest revival in city living, Americans are spreading out more than ever — into exurbs and boomburbs miles from anywhere, in big houses in big subdivisions. We cling to the notion of safer neighborhoods and better schools, but what we get, argues Anthony Flint, is long commutes, crushing gas prices and higher taxes — and a landscape of strip malls and office parks badly in need of a makeover.
This Land tells the untold story of development in America — how the landscape is shaped by a furious clash of political, economic and cultural forces. It is the story of burgeoning anti-sprawl movement, a 1960s-style revolution of New Urbanism, smart growth, and green building. And it is the story of landowners fighting back on the basis of property rights, with free-market libertarians, homebuilders, road pavers, financial institutions, and even the lawn-care industry right alongside them.
Flint is a longtime journalist and author on the subjects of urban planning, density, sprawl, land use, and related matters about which I am highly interested but woefully ignorant. Hopefully I’ll learn something.
What should I ask him?