A Comprehensive Guidebook for Architects, Planners, Urban Designers, and Developers that Illustrates How Existing Suburbs can be Redesigned/Redeveloped

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Shows how development in existing suburbs can absorb new growth and evolve in relation to changed demographic, technological, and economic conditions.

The last fifty years have been dominated by the reproduction of sprawl development patterns. The big project for the next fifty years will be retrofitting sprawl into sustainable places. While there has been considerable attention by practitioners and academics to development in urban cores and new neighborhoods on the exurban periphery, there has been little attention to the redesign and redevelopment of existing out-of-date suburbs. But there are signs of change. There are now numerous examples of aging, stand-alone shopping malls and office parks that are being replaced with multi-block, mixed-use town centers with public squares and greens. Ambitious new public transit networks are being proposed, constructed, and integrated into rapidly redeveloping suburban contexts. Archaic zoning ordinances are being overhauled to permit higher-density, mixed-use development, especially near new transit stations. New housing types are attracting a mix of young professionals, empty nesters, and families. In short, there is evidence of the urbanization of suburbs. New from John Wiley & Sons, the leader in architecture and urban design publishing, is RETROFITTING SUBURBIA: URBAN DESIGN SOLUTIONS FOR REDESIGNING SUBURBS (January 2009; $75.00), a comprehensive guidebook for architects, planners, urban designers, and developers that illustrates how existing suburbs can be redesigned and redeveloped. The authors, both architects and noted experts on the subject, show how development in existing suburbs can absorb new growth and evolve in relation to changed demographic, technological, and economic conditions.

RETROFITTING SUBURBIA documents innovative case studies of American suburban developments (malls, commercial strips, office parks, cul-de-sac subdivisions) that have been retrofitted to new uses and forms. The arguments for retrofitting suburbia are positioned within contemporary urban design discourse and case study examples are described at length, showing before-and-after transformations of low-density, auto-dependent, single-use suburbs into urban places. Several factors in both the public and private realms are driving this change and, collectively, these market forces and policies are enabling implementation of the principal benefit of these projects, the retrofitting of the underlying settlement structure itself into more sustainable urban forms. The book covers the strategies and advantages of both urbanizing and re-greening the suburbs. Included projects show how:

•Dead malls can be transformed into mixed-use, transit-friendly downtowns
•Live malls and edge cities, when served with transit, can incorporate housing and other uses
•Office and industrial parks, residential subdivisions, and suburban apartment complexes can be retrofitted to new uses and forms
•Entire strip corridors can be repurposed into a social and sustainable infrastructure

By documenting dramatic retrofits at a variety of scales, RETROFITTING SUBURBIA opens the eyes of both professionals and non-professionals to the change that is possible in suburbia. More radical in their programming and urban form than in their architectural expression, the projects that the authors include were selected for their real-world application of new trends in planning, development, economics, policy, and design.

Ellen Dunham-Jones, AIA, is associate professor and director of the architecture program in the College of Architecture at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. A registered architect, Dunham-Jones had previously taught architecture at MIT and the University of Virginia. Her ongoing research and scholarship is in the intersection of contemporary development patterns and contemporary architectural theory. She serves on the board of directors of the Congress for the New Urbanism and the editorial board of the Journal of Urbanism.

June Williamson is an associate professor of architecture at The City College of New York/CUNY. An urban designer and registered architect, she has authored design guidelines and consulted on town planning projects throughout the United States. She has also taught at Columbia University, Georgia Institute of Technology, University of Utah, and Boston Architectural College. An accomplished researcher and author, she has written articles for the journal Places and other publications.

Published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Publication date: January 5, 2009
$75.00; Hardcover; 272 pages; ISBN: 978-0-470-04123-9


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