Art and Architecture, Books for the News, History

Robert Bruegmann on KQED

jacket image Robert Bruegmann will be making a guest appearance this morning on California public radio’s Forum with Michael Krasny. If you’re in Northern California you can catch Bruegmann discussing “California sprawl and its historical, economic and aesthetic roots and consequences” with other guests Ann Wolfe and Gabriel Metcalf on KQED 88.5 San Francisco today at 10:00. If you’re not, listen online; the program airs at 12:00pm central time. An audio archive of the program should be available on KQED’s website soon.
Bruegmann is the author of the book Sprawl: A Compact History. In his incisive history of the expanded city, Bruegmann overturns every assumption we have about suburban sprawl. Taking a long view of urban development, he demonstrates that sprawl is neither recent nor particularly American but as old as cities themselves, just as characteristic of ancient Rome and eighteenth-century Paris as it is of Atlanta or Los Angeles. Nor is sprawl the disaster claimed by many contemporary observers. Although sprawl, like any settlement pattern, has undoubtedly produced problems that must be addressed, it has also provided millions of people with the kinds of mobility, privacy, and choice that were once the exclusive prerogatives of the rich and powerful.
The first major book to strip urban sprawl of its pejorative connotations, Sprawl offers readers a completely new vision of the city and its growth.