Review, Nelson, A.C., Dawkins, C.J. & Thomas W. Sanchez, T.W. (eds. 2008) The Social Impacts of Urban Containment, Ashgate.
Journal of Regional Science, 49
Urban containment does not fit easily with popular images of the United States. We all know that the land of opportunity has wide-open spaces, low-density suburbs, automobile-dependent lifestyles, and large shopping malls: the result of unrestricted, successful individualism and commerce. Media suggest that these places contrast with the problematic ones we see on films and in the news: impoverished and dangerous ghettos; failed town centers; flooded, polluted, or devastated run-down suburbs; trailer parks; and other less attractive places where poor people and members of low-status ethnic minorities live. Nelson, Dawkins, and Sanchez dispel the simplistic myth that perpetuates the world of West Side Story, The Graduate, and Desperate Housewives. They also give the gentrification of Frasier, Sex in the City, and Friends rigorous treatment. Unusually for a textbook the book reports research findings. Having been told that the United States was late to apply development control in ways that sought to limit the extent of built-up areas, starting in 1958 with an urban growth boundary at Lexington, Kentucky (p. 9), the reader may be surprised to learn of at least 127 containment plans in the United States since then, falling into categories of “weak” or “strong,” and “accommodates” or “restricts” growth.