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The Cul-de-Sac Syndrome: Turning Around the Unsustainable American Dream

por John F Wasik

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"The Cul-de-Sac Syndrome explores why homeownership has become a fractured dream and presents ways to revive it. Combining analysis with insights into cultural and economic myths, the book provides an incisive look at the consequences of unsustainable lifestyle, exposing its economic, cultural, and market-related roots and the larger effects on the community, economy, and environment"--Provided by publisher.… (mais)
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Esta crítica foi escrita no âmbito dos Primeiros Críticos do LibraryThing.
Synopsis:
Subtitled “Turning Around the Unsustainable American Dream,” this book analyzes the housing crisis and reflects upon ways that America can move forward with affordable, environmentally sustainable architecture.
Review:
The Cul-de-Sac Syndrome is a good companion piece to James Howard Kunstler’s A Geography of Nowhere. Author John F. Wasik offers a cogent overview of the current housing crisis along with an analysis of the unsustainability of the current fads in American housing. He explains trends in environmentally conscious architecture and building, and offers his ideas about what it will take to put the American dream back to rights.

I was most interested by his discussion of “spurbs,” housing clusters that are not connected to a metropolitan area, offer no public transportation, are not walkable, and are interspersed with strip malls and shopping centers. I grew up in a suburb of Baltimore and now I live in Queens, NY, so I’m not intimately familiar with these areas. They sound like nowhere I’d want to live. I love what I read about the New Urbanism, one of whose central tenets is “get people outside.” I love that I can walk everywhere–sure, it’s a 30 minute walk to the park but that’s great exercise, and it’s so fun to bump into people I know along the way. ( )
1 vote superfastreader | Sep 6, 2011 |
Esta crítica foi escrita no âmbito dos Primeiros Críticos do LibraryThing.
You know, a pretty interesting book. It concerns a favorite topic of mine, the down side of suburban sprawl. But I also agree with some of the other reviews. I would have liked a little more substance to it. I love how current it is and talks about events not even a year old, but I would have liked a little bit to hear about some of the possible solutions to the problems we are having. At least a picture of how things could be. That's usually what I look for in books that I read to improve my architecture education. The history in the very beginning of how american housing developed over the years I did find to be quite fascinating however. ( )
1 vote kcpavlik | Aug 25, 2009 |
Esta crítica foi escrita no âmbito dos Primeiros Críticos do LibraryThing.
Other LibraryThing reviewers seem to share my view: What's good about this book is a breezy, reporter's flow of facts put in a reasonable sequence. What's bad about this book is the other side of the same coin: the breezy reporter's take on things is fine in the short run, but stretched to a book, I found it lacking in substance. Its facts need more context than an article but rarely get it in this compendium, which feels very much like Mr. Wasik adapted his earlier writing to somehow string articles into a book.

Wasik's references to Bloomberg, his employer, and even to his own seemingly prescient reporting about the coming collapse in mortgage debt, also detract: no other facts are so referenced...

And this negative review from someone who agrees with the thesis... ( )
1 vote kimsbooks | Aug 10, 2009 |
Esta crítica foi escrita no âmbito dos Primeiros Críticos do LibraryThing.
An interesting idea, and one that I tend to agree with, that we have hard wired the suburbian lifestyle here in the United States and it may not be the best way for the future. The author covered most of the important points and generally backed his arguments with data but the overall organization of the work seemed a bit random and I had difficulty staying inspired at times. Worth a read but mostly for the already convinced. ( )
1 vote pamur | Jul 28, 2009 |
Esta crítica foi escrita no âmbito dos Primeiros Críticos do LibraryThing.
Mr. Wasik's newspaper background enabled him to put together this book of very well researched and documented explanation of why we find ourselves in the current economic and social predicament. He falls short when he makes the assumption that urban life, well designed, is the cure-all He criticizes or ignores the notions of a rural ideal that embraced the very goals he proposes of self-sufficiency and economy. ( )
  gpsman | Jul 23, 2009 |
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"The Cul-de-Sac Syndrome explores why homeownership has become a fractured dream and presents ways to revive it. Combining analysis with insights into cultural and economic myths, the book provides an incisive look at the consequences of unsustainable lifestyle, exposing its economic, cultural, and market-related roots and the larger effects on the community, economy, and environment"--Provided by publisher.

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