Release October 2017

2021 CICA Bruni Zevi Book Award Winner

Infinite Suburbia

edited by:

Alan M. Berger, Joel Kotkin, Celina Balderas Guzman

(New York: Princeton Architectural Press, release Sept 2017)

(with Norman B. Leventhal Center for Advanced Urbanism at MIT)


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Editorial Reviews


"How is the design of cities changing our society and visual landscape? How have patterns of expansion driven the environmental challenges we now confront? What do the design of suburbs around the world say about our cultures and where we're headed? These questions, and more, are explored in 52 essays by 74 authors in this brave new collection."
- Design Observer

"Weighing in at more than 700 pages and featuring a mind-boggling variety of fantastic photography, drawings, plans, diagrams, charts and maps this exhaustive study is the definitive statement on suburbia - and something that all city dwellers can enjoy, whichever part of town they're in."
- Umbrella Magazine (UK)

"Aerial drone shots, charts and city plans illustrate 52 essays that analyze and chronicle sprawl and suburbia's sustainable future, the findings of an intensive, years-long study in the urbanism research lab at MIT. The season's definitive coffee-table book for urbanists."
- The Globe and Mail

"Infinite Suburbia not only presents a robust analysis of suburbia's interaction with its inhabitants, environment, and neighbors; but also prompts readers to consider the enormous potential of suburban sustainability as the global population continues to move and live within its borders....With its myriad of topics and perspectives, there is something for professionals of many disciplines. I recommend the book as a reference for those involved in the urban expansion. Although the essays are not enough to inform a full planning process, they introduce concepts that prompt planners to go down the rabbit hole in an attempt to create a suburban wonderland." - Global Grid

"According to Berger (landscape architecture urban design, MIT), Joel Kotkin (urban futures, Chapman Univ.), and Celina Balderas Guzm?n (Leventhal Ctr. for Advanced Urbanism at MIT), the vast majority of people around the world who move to cities are doing so to populate the surrounding suburbs, not to live in urban center cores. To test this thesis, the editors drew on the most recent, cutting-edge research on suburban design and development to explain current suburban migration and develop a more full-fledged theory for understanding the future of suburbia. The result is this remarkable collection of 52 insightful essays by 74 authors from 20 different fields including design, architecture, urban planning, history, economics, and applied technologies. A wealth of photographs, aerial drone shots, drawings, diagrams, maps, and archival materials enhance the volume. A tool called the Infinite Suburbia Roadmap arranges the book's essays into 21 topics organized around five themes: the drive for upward social mobility, polycentric metropolitan form, metropolitan economic interrelationships, the harnessing of ecological potential, and scales of governance. By including contrasting perspectives and offering a balanced approach, the authors and editors lay out a plausible theory that succinctly outlines the beginnings of suburban theory implementation. VERDICT Advanced undergraduates, graduate students, scholars, and practitioners of urban design, planning, and studies will find this work on the theories, structures, and principles shaping the future of urbanization stimulating and visionary."
- Library Journal, Starred Review

"In the United States, 69 percent of the population lives in suburbs. When housing forecasters say that around the world the vast majority of people are becoming urbanized, they really mean people are moving to suburbs around core cities. "A truly back-to-the-city future, as imagined by retro urbanists seems highly unlikely," according to Infinite Suburbia. The new book is a comprehensive collection of 74 authors from 20 different professions who have studied how suburbia developed and where it is headed. The Norman B. Leventhal Center for Advanced Urbanism at MIT coordinated the extensive project."
- The Plain Dealer

"[T]he release of Infinite Suburbia could not be more timely. The culmination of yearlong study on the future of suburban development by MIT's Norman B. Leventhal Center for Advanced Urbanism, this book is undoubtedly the most comprehensive analysis on the suburbs to-date . The result of this colossal undertaking is an excellent, critical exploration of contemporary thinking, practices and future potential of the suburbs. One that does its fair share of debunking common myths and assumptions about this unique settlement pattern, while recognizing its drawbacks. In no uncertain terms, Infinite Suburbia is a book for the open-minded: essential reading for urbanists, designers, planners and others dedicated to the built environment who want to break the unnecessary barriers that divide suburbanization from urbanization. A process that must be undertaken if there are any hopes of a better urban future."
- Spacing Magazine
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