Sierra Club logo

Stopping Sprawl campaign home page - click here.
Get an overview. Sign up for an e-newsletter. Find out what you can do to help.
Environmental Update Main
Sprawl Main
In This Section
Sprawl Overview
Reports & Factsheets
Activist Resources
Get Involved!
Articles & Research
Population and Sprawl

Get The Sierra Club Insider
Environmental news, green living tips, and ways to take action: Subscribe to the Sierra Club Insider!


Stop Sprawl
Challenge to Sprawl Bibliography

Also see Sierra magazine's listing of books on the sprawl issue

Books | Magazines | Other Publications
Campaign Materials


How to Organize

How to Save Your Neighborhood, City, or Town: The Sierra Club Guide to Community Organizing by Maritza Pick
Paperback; Published by Sierra Club Books (March 1993); ISBN: 0871565226; List: $12.00

Synopsis: Whether the environmental issue is large or small, whether it threatens your block or entire city, here, at last, is a practical guide to environmental victories, equally helpful to concerned citizens in big cities, small towns, and rural areas alike. "An excellent source for concerned citizens who want to do more than just voice their frustrations . . . who want to make a difference." --Mike Thompson, California State Senator.

Organizing for Social Change: A Manual for Activists in the 1990's, 2nd Edition by Kim Bobo, Jackie Kendall, Steve Max, Kimberly A. Bobo
Paperback; Published by Seven Locks Pr (January 1996); ISBN: 0929765419; List: $19.95

Synopsis: A comprehensive manual for grassroots organizers working for social political, environmental, and economic change at the local, state, and national level. It is a book that builds on America's tradition of organizing that began with the nation's fight for independence. Using this manual, organizers will learn a systematic approach to the techniques of organizing, of building and using power, and of creating lasting institutions that are both self-defense organizations and avenues for citizen participation in public life.

The Sprawl Issue

Asphalt Nation: How the Automobile Took over America, and How We Can Take It Back, 1st Ed Hardcover by Jane Holtz Kay
385 pages; Published by Crown Pub (April 1, 1997); ISBN: 0517587025; List: $27.50

Synopsis: Provides a thought-provoking look at the devastating impact on America of the automobile from a political, social, economic, and cultural perspective, and offers a range of innovative solutions to help change Americans' relationships with their cars. 17,500 first printing.

The Death and Life of Great American Cities by Jane Jacobs
Paperback, 458 pages Reissue edition (January 1993) Vintage Books; ISBN: 067974195X; List $14.00

Synopsis: This is the book that enlightened many of us. It illuminates what makes neighborhoods interesting, fun and safe. It discusses neighborhood governance as well as architectural design.

Edge City: Life on the New Frontier by Joel Garreau, Reprint Edition
Paperback, 548 pages; Published by Anchor (October 1, 1992); ISBN: 0385424345; List: $15.95

Synopsis: First there was downtown. Then there were suburbs. Then there were malls. Then Americans launched the most sweeping changes in 100 years by moving their jobs out to where they live and shop. In this ground breaking and highly readable book, the author chronicles this dramatic trend and sheds revealing light on who we are, how we got that way, and where we are headed.

The Geography of Nowhere: The Rise and Decline of America's Man-Made Landscape by James Howard Kunstler, Reprint Edition
Paperback; Published by Touchstone Books (July 1, 1994); ISBN: 0671888250; List: $11.00

Synopsis: In this "eminently relevant and important book" (Library Journal), the author traces the evolution of America's landscape, where every place looks like no place in particular, and where accommodating the automobile jeopardizes the individual and the environment.

Growth Management Principles and Practices by Arthur C. Nelson and James B. Duncan
Chicago, IL: American Planning Association ; Hardcover; 184pp; Published by University of Chicago Press (August 1995); ISBN: 091828693X; List: $49.00

Synopsis: This book provides a good introduction to developing an effective growth management program. It includes chapters on resource land preservation, rural growth management, and urban containment, among others.

Holding Our Ground: Protecting America's Farms and Farmland by Tom Daniels, Deborah Bowers
Paperback, 420 pages Published by Island Pr (April 1, 1997); ISBN: 1559634820; List: $34.95

Synopsis: This book provides a comprehensive discussion of farmland preservation. It describes the business of farming and how to use different techniques to create an effective farmland protection program. It's a must-read for anyone interested in protecting farmland.

Home from Nowhere: Remaking Our Everyday World for the Twenty-First Century by James Howard Kunstler
Hardcover, 320 pages; Published by Simon & Schuster (October 1, 1996); ISBN: 0684811960; List: $24.00

Synopsis: The critically acclaimed author of The Geography of Nowhere, the milestone book that described the horrendous blighting of America's landscape, now explores the movement to restore our everyday world and create places to live and work that are worthy of our affection. National author media. Photos throughout.

Metropolitics: A Regional Agenda for Community and Stability by Myron W. Orfield
Hardcover, 260 pages; Published by Brookings Inst (February 1, 1997); ISBN: 0815766408; List: $28.95

Synopsis: Metropolitics is the story of how demographic research and state-of-the-art mapping, together with resourceful and pragmatic politics, built a powerful political alliance between the central cities, declining inner suburbs, and developing suburbs with low tax bases. Orfield argues that the forces of decline, sprawl, and polarization are too large for individual cities, and suburbs to confront alone. The answer lies in a regional agenda that promotes both community and stability.

The Next American Metropolis: Ecology, Community, and the American Dream by Peter Calthorpe
Paperback, 175 pages; Published by Princeton Architectural Pr (June 1993); ISBN: 1878271687; List: $24.95

Synopsis: Art and Architecture Editor's Recommended Book, 04/01/97. One of the foremost practitioners of New Urbanism, Peter Calthorpe, an urban designer and architect based in Berkeley, California, offers one of the most coherent and persuasive arguments for moving the United States away from sprawl and toward more compact, mixed-use, economically diverse, and ecologically sound communities. This book presents 24 of Calthorpe's regional urban plans, in which towns are organized so that residents can be less dependent upon their cars and can walk, bike, or take public transportation between work, school, home, and shopping.

Real Towns: Making your neighborhood work, by Harrison Bright Rue.
62 pages, softback; published by Local Government Commission Center for Livable Communities (2000);,,

Synopsis: A how-to manual for getting citizens to get to know and evaluate their neighborhoods and implement smart growth. Demystifies local organizing, smart growth, design, charettes and planning, and traffic calming.

Save Our Land, Save Our Towns: A Plan for Pennsylvania by Thomas Hylton, Blair Seitz (Photographer)
Paperback, 127 pages; Published by RB Books (September 1995); ISBN: 1879441446; List: $24.95

Synopsis: Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Thomas Hylton, a lifelong Pennsylvanian, looks at how eleven other states, from Vermont to Oregon, are implementing a new concept in comprehensive state plans. He also looks at how regional governments have improved the quality of life in places like Toronto, Minneapolis-St. Paul, and Lexington, KY. He applies these lessons to a proposed plan that will help Pennsylvania save its land, save its towns, and live up to its rich potential.

Tomorrow by Design: A Regional Design Process for Sustainability by Philip H., Jr. Lewis
Hardback: Published by John Wiley & Sons (April 1, 1996), ISBN: 0471109355, List: $59.95

Synopsis: Lewis is renowned for his work in creating the regional design process and the related concepts of "Circle Cities" and "environmental corridors." His comprehensive book contains a methodology for guiding development in a manner that preserves and enhances natural diversity and quality of life for present and future generations. He describes what the regional design process is and how it can be applied to areas ranging in scale from a small neighborhood to the entire world.

Magazines, Journals, and Periodicals

  • "Livable Cities", Sierra Magazine May/June 1997
  • "Stopping Sprawl", Sierra Club's The Planet; April 1997 (Vol. 4 No. 3)

Other Publications

"A Better Way to Grow: For More Livable Communities and a Healthier Chesapeake Bay", by George Maurer; 32 pp. Chesapeake Bay Foundation (1996); Call 410-268-8816 to request a copy.

"Toward a Green Space Legacy: A Call to Action in Southeastern Pennsylvania" published by GreenSpace Alliance of Southeastern PA (1995); Call 1-800-322-9214 or 215-563-0250 to request a copy.

"Green Plan Gazette" published by GreenSpace Alliance of Southeastern PA (Fall 1996); Call 1-800-322-9214 or 215-563-0250 to request a copy.

Mark Roseland, "Toward Sustainable communities: A Resource Book for Municipalities and Local Governments," National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy, 1992.

Sprawl Costs Us All Reports

  • Arizona (August 1998)
  • Maryland (January 1997)
  • Midwest (August 1997)
  • National (September 1998)
  • Virginia (September 1997)
  • Washington, D.C. Area (Oct. 1998)
  • Wisconsin (1996)

Sprawl Campaign Materials

  • Sierra Club Challenge to Sprawl Activist Toolkit (free)
  • Sample Local Community and Environmental Report Card (free)
  • "Sprawl Hurts Us All" stickers, white on green, $20/500 or $30/1000. Stickers may be ordered by contacting Melody Flowers at or at 202-547-1141.

Suburban Sprawl and Development Email Discussion List

Up to Top | Printer-friendly version of this page