“Using diverse theories and methods by scholars across many disciplines, this volume addresses critical social and environmental issues such as climate change and sustainable land and water management.”—Heejun Chang, Portland State University
“By presenting the material through a regional lens, this volume helps readers to understand sustainability not only in suburban settings broadly but also the context and importance of place with regard to sustainability.”—Leslie A. North, Western Kentucky University
The first volume to focus on suburbs and sustainability in the United States, this collection approaches the topic through regionally diverse case studies. Departing from the more widely examined issue of urban sustainability, contributors argue that the suburbs present a unique and important challenge given their greater land mass, lower population density, lower tax rates, and more limited government services.
The studies featured in Case Studies in Suburban Sustainability analyze the impact of planning, social and economic concerns, environmental factors such as air pollution and climate change, and water management on suburban communities. Areas of focus include suburbs of New York City, Seattle, Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, Phoenix, New Orleans, and Tampa. In these examples, contributors show that activism and leadership are currently advancing a strong sustainability agenda in regions many would have believed unlikely.
Through these case studies, this volume demonstrates that the suburbs are a crucial nexus for sustainability in the United States. Because suburbs have been overlooked in most green initiatives, and because they play such a vital role in the future of American housing and development, these essays call for more research and continued creative innovation in these areas.
Sandra J. Garren is director of sustainability research at the National Center for Suburban Studies and assistant professor in the Department of Geology, Environment, and Sustainability at Hofstra University. Robert Brinkmann is dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Northern Illinois University and the author of Florida Sinkholes: Science and Policy. Garren and Brinkmann are coeditors of The Palgrave Handbook of Sustainability: Case Studies and Practical Solutions.