Alternatives to Sprawl
Sprawl is not a recent phenomenon. There is general agreement that it began in the construction boom of the post-World War II years and really came into its own with the initiation of the Interstate Highway System in the 1950s. There is general agreement, also, that it entered a new and much more destructive phase in the "boom" years of the past decade. As the boom has turned to bust, citizens have voiced growing disaffection with development policies and practices that are costly (in social and environemntal as well as fiscal terms) and increasingly unworkable.
With more and more people deciding that they don't want the ride—or, at the very least, deciding that the price of the ticket may be too high—the search for methods of dealing with sprawl and for less destructive patterns of development has taken on new urgency.
As part of this effort, on March 22, 1995, the Brookings Institution, the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation cosponsored a day-long conference entitled "Alternatives to Sprawl." The speakers represpented a wide range fo expertise, affiliation, and opinion. Their comments, ideas, research findings, and recommendations are summarized in this report.