Monday, June 18, 2007

Sprawling From Grace, Driven To Madness

I like this video because it points out what is wrong with our cities and society. As a Planner, this is what I study, and I love it. It is a promo to a movie coming out soon about how we build, what it cost etc. It brings out the fundamental problems in how we think we should live the "American Dream". Enjoy, and if anyone has questions about this, I would love to share.


The AZ McMillans said...

That was interesting to watch. So my question is, if they aren't planning and building to make our life easier and better, then what do you think is the goal?

Heath said...

Some answers to your questions may be at the end of the video. Watch the video again and at the end
there is a link to a video called The End of Suburbia. Go to the bottom of the little screen where the movie played on and move the cursor over the pictures. It is a 52 min documentary that is very informative on issues that many do not know or understand. At points it is extreme, but also has some good points and things to think about. It also explains the history of Suburbia and how things came to be. Also shows what push and pull mechanism brought on this way of life.

Now to your question.

I think the goal initially, still was to make life better for all, but the people didn't realize the results of these actions years later. Now, we are in a jam because we have turned away from basic methods and principles of humanity. Many have figured out that over the past 50 years, this has caused some major problems to our earth, health and so forth. You know, sometimes we make choices and it takes time for the consequence to follow.

After WWII, and when the National Highway Act was signed in the 50's, the philosophy was to make life easier and better for all--and that meant using the car. The car was affordable; homes were too, gas and natural resources were very cheap. The country had a lot of money and invested in it in these areas. But most could not foresee the problems this would cause. Not all of suburbia is bad tho.

There is so much to tell you, but it takes time to understand all of this. At first, I thought suburbia was the way of life until I went back east and saw how the design made it a different social environment. Most people tend to love the design of historic neighborhoods, homes, downtowns etc. Why is that? It took a lot of research and time to convince me that something is not working the way it should. If you have more questions or want to talk, I would love to share. It might be better to talk because I can’t type as fast as I am thinking and what I know.

Thanks again for the question.


Anonymous said...

The devastating results of America's suburban style building and city planning are just beginning to reveal the far reaching problems that we have to look forward to. It will impact our democracy and have lasting detrimental effects on economic justice for those vulnerable Americans who will be forced to live in these disconnected communities. My upcoming film Sprawling From Grace, Driven to Madness will illustrate the compelling reasons for altering the way we build our cities and provide insightful knowledge on what must be done in order to build cities that are worth keeping. The films is scheduled for completion in mid-Sept. and will go on to theaters from there. If you would like to keep updated as to the films progress and release dates please email me at and I will add your name to our email list.

Best Regards,
David M. Edwards