January 2014


“The Story of Sprawl” Is a Collection of Historic Films That Show How America Has Changed Shape

This 2-disc set is an unprecedented visual document of how sprawl happened, told through a series of historic films ranging from 1939's The City, created by famed planner Lewis Mumford, to No Time For Ugliness from 1965, produced by the American Institute of Architects. With specially-recorded commentary from notable authors, academics, and architects like James Howard Kunstler, Andrés Duany, Jacky Grimshaw, and many more. In planning circles, it is fashionable to debate the merits or drawbacks of the spread of suburban living that happened in the 20th century. What isn’t up for debate is that it happened - from the early '40s until the beginning of the 21st century, the American pattern of development changed radically.

We will be viewing and discussing Disc 1, comprising:
  • The Story of Sprawl (3 minutes)
    Introduction by Tim Halbur of Congress for the New Urbanism
  • Chapter 1 - The City, 1939 (31:10 minutes)
    Commentary by James Howard Kunstler, author of The Geography of Nowhere and Duncan Crary of the Institute for Humanist Studies
  • Chapter 2 - Cities: How They Grow, 1952 (9:08 minutes)
    Commentary by Anthony Flint, author of This Land:The Battle over Sprawl and the Future of America
  • Chapter 3 - Homes for Veterans, 1946 (Edited, 13:53 minutes)
    Commentary by Mark D.Van Ells, author of To Hear Only Thunder Again: America's World War II Veterans Come Home
  • Chapter 4 - For the Living, 1949 (21:09 minutes)
    Commentary by Prof. Jackie Leavitt and Prof. Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris of UCLA's Dept. of Urban Planning

Date & Time

Wednesday, January 29, 2014
10:30 a.m. - Noon


4th Floor Board Room
County Administration Building (CAB)
14741 Governor Oden Bowie Drive
Upper Marlboro, MD 20772


Not Applicable

Speaker / Instructor Biography

Speaker Series Team