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Designing Suburban Futures: New Models from Build a Better Burb

by June Williamson Island Press
Pub Date:
Pbk 160 pages
AU$124.99 NZ$126.95
Product Status: Title is Print on Demand - May take 4 weeks
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Suburbs deserve a better, more resilient future. June Williamson shows that suburbs aren't destined to remain filled with strip malls and excess parking lots; they can be reinvigorated through inventive design. Drawing on award-winning design ideas for revitalizing Long Island, she offers valuable models not only for U.S. suburbs, but also those emerging elsewhere with global urbanization.
Williamson argues that suburbia has historically been a site of great experimentation and is currently primed for exciting changes. Today, dead malls, aging office parks, and blighted apartment complexes are being retrofitted into walkable, sustainable communities. Williamson shows how to expand this trend, highlighting promising design strategies and tactics.
She provides a broad vision of suburban reform based on the best schemes submitted in Long Island's highly successful "Build a Better Burb" competition. Many of the design ideas and plans operate at a regional scale, tackling systems such as transit, aquifer protection, and power generation. While some seek to fundamentally transform development patterns, others work with existing infrastructure to create mixed-use, shared networks.
Designing Suburban Futures offers concrete but visionary strategies to take the sprawl out of suburbia, creating a vibrant, new suburban form. It will be especially useful for urban designers, architects, landscape architects, land use planners, local policymakers and NGOs, citizen activists, students of urban design, planning, architecture, and landscape architecture.

Foreword, Ellen Dunham-Jones
Photo Essay, Christoph Gielen
PART I. Vision: A Role for Design in Suburban Resilience
Chapter 1. Context for Change
Chapter 2. Design Culture Responds to Sprawl: 1960s to 2010s
Chapter 3. Better Suburban Futures
PART II. Exemplar: Building a Better Burb on Long Island
Chapter 4. Build a Better Burb 2010: Instructions and Commentary
Chapter 5. Winning and Noteworthy Competition Schemes Sited in the Setback: Increasing Density in Levittown
- Upcycling 2.0
- AgIsland
- Building C-Burbia
- SUBHUB Transit System
- Long Division
- LIRR: Long Island Radically Rezoned
- Fourteen Noteworthy Schemes 
Chapter 6. Conclusion
Epilogue: New Roles for Architecture and Urban Design - A conversation with Kazys Varnelis
Selected Bibliography

" integration of text and figures, Designing Suburban Futures is an eye-candy feast, with color images everywhere the reader looks."
June Williamson is Associate Professor in the Spitzer School of Architecture at The City College of New York. She is coauthor, with Ellen Dunham-Jones, of Retrofitting Suburbia (9780470934326). She lives in New York, New York.