James Howard Kunstler calls suburban sprawl " the greatest misallocation of resources the world has ever known ." His arguments bring a new lens to urban development, drawing clear connections between physical spaces and cultural vitality.
Geography of Nowhere , published in 1993, presented a grim vision of America in decline -- a nation of cookie-cutter strip malls, vacuous city centers, and dead spaces wrought by what Kunstler calls the ethos of Happy Motoring: our society-wide dependence on the automobile.
The Long Emergency (2005) takes a hard look at energy dependency, arguing that the end of the fossil fuels era will force a return to smaller-scale, agrarian-focused communities and an overhaul of many of the most prominent and destructive features of postwar society.
His confrontational approach and propensity for doomsday scenarios make Kunstler a lightning rod for controversy and critics . But his magnificent rants are underscored with logic and his books are widely read, particularly by architectural critics and urban planners.
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I love this great idea on paper. But it becomes a too visually invasive when it’s on the side of buildings and over elevator doors. I’m not going to go all Bill Hicks on you here. Like I said earlier, some of the best design is in advertising as it needs to be the best. I just get scared when I crave Coke over Pepsi, or food that doesn’t taste good and makes me feel sick. I guess I’ll just have to go along and just enjoy the pretty pictures. I love advertising until it becomes time to tell me to buy something or when it becomes invasive. I want to choose to look at pieces of advertising without any effort to ignore it, unless it is so fantastic that I can’t ignore it, but am happy to see it.