"Owen Gutfreund offers an illuminating look at how highways have dramatically transformed American communities, aiding growth and development in unsettled areas and undermining existing urban centers." "Gutfreund takes a "follow the money" approach to show how government policies - from as early as the 1890s - subsidized the spread of cities and fueled a chronic nationwide dependence on cars and roadbuilding, with little regard for expense, efficiency, ecological damage, or social equity. As federal, state, and local governments invested in toll-free highways, Americans moved in unprecedented numbers to newly accessible open land on the urban periphery. The consequence was the collapse of center cities, ballooning municipal debt, and rapidly increasing air pollution, not to mention profound changes in American society and culture." "Gutfreund tells the story via case studies of three communities - Denver, Colorado; Middlebury, Vermont; and Smyrna, Tennessee. Different as these places are, they all show the ways that government-sponsored highway development radically transformed America's cities and towns." "Based on original research and vividly written, Twentieth-Century Sprawl makes a major contribution to our understanding of issues that still plague our cities and suburbs today."--BOOK JACKET.
Highway federalism -- Denver meets the automobile -- The decentralization of post-World War II Denver -- Automobiles and a small town -- Bridges, bypasses, and boulevards -- AutoCity : Smyrna, Tennessee
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