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- DescriptionWhy are American cities, suburbs, and towns so distinct? Compared to European cities, those in the United States are characterized by lower densities and greater distances; neat, geometric layouts; an abundance of green space; a greater level of social segregation reflected in space; and-perhaps most ticeably-a greater share of individual, single-family detached housing. In Zoned in the USA, Sonia A. Hirt argues that zoning laws are among the important but understudied reasons for the cross-continental differences. Hirt shows that rather than being imported from Europe, U.S. municipal zoning law was in fact an institution that quickly developed its own, distinctly American profile. A distinct spatial culture of individualism-founded on an ideal of separate, single-family residences apart from the dirt and turmoil of industrial and agricultural production-has driven much of municipal regulation, defined land-use, and, ultimately, shaped American life. Hirt explores municipal zoning from a comparative and international perspective, drawing on archival resources and contemporary land-use laws from England, Germany, France, Australia, Russia, Canada, and Japan to challenge assumptions about American cities and the laws that guide them.
- Author BiographySonia A. Hirt is Professor and Associate Dean of Academic Affairs in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies, Virginia Tech. She is the author of Iron Curtains: Gates, Suburbs and Privatization of Space in the Post-socialist City and coeditor most recently of The Urban Wisdom of Jane Jacobs.
- Author(s)Sonia A. Hirt
- PublisherCornell University Press
- Date of Publication04/12/2014
- SubjectEnvironment & Planning
- Place of PublicationIthaca
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintCornell University Press
- Content Note30, 11 black & white halftones, 5 black & white line drawings, 11 tables, 3 charts
- Weight342 g
- Width156 mm
- Height235 mm
- Spine15 mm
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