RE: urban sprawl/anthroecotecture etc.
From: Rob Sandelin (Exchange) (
Date: Mon, 6 Nov 1995 11:36:52 -0600
>If so, this goes against any
>kind of solution to urban sprawl (or conception of the consequences of 
>sprawl) that I'm aware of.  So, if you think that having people more spread
>out helps reduce urban sprawl; I'd like to know more about the logic 
>your thoughts.

My point was and is, urban sprawl continues unabated and will continue to do 
so for as long as it is profitable, which is in my opinion, is a long time. 
 The fact that urban sprawl reduces food production capacity has not yet, 
and in my opinion, will not effect its growth and spread one iota. If 
America paves over its entire farm land capacity, it will simply import more 
food from somewhere else, or grow it in some other way.

So, Americans will adapt to meet the changing conditions, in the same way 
they have adapted to Los Angeles, and the adaptions in my opinion, will 
largely be driven by profit motive, not pie in the sky musings of what we 
should be doing, and even in the face of absolute logic and proof I 
personally doubt the system of land development will be even slightly 
effected by those who stand on the side lines telling us what we should be 

Without being defensive, I think Sharingwood and other cohousing is EXACTLY 
what we should be doing more of, not less of.  I have dedicated large 
amounts of my volunteer time to creating models of land development which 
offer real concrete evidence of alternatives to the inevitable urban sprawl. 
I beleive, based on the evidence of the last ten years of land use and 
growth, that urban sprawl is absolutely unstoppable and that the  key in my 
viewpoint, is to create an alternative land use model so shiney and 
attractive, that lots of people want it.  If this happens, then we will have 
the primary force in America, the consumer, behind creating neighborhoods 
that use land in a better way.  You can spend your time and energy telling 
the for profit land development corporations all about how urban sprawl is 
bad, etc. but I personally think that is a waste of time and will change 
nothing in the way land is used in America. When consumer demand the 
product, the producers of that product will meet the demand. Not because of 
any other value besides that is what sells product.

I put a lot of personal energy, time and money into creating REAL solutions 
(cohousing and eco-villages) and I tend to be impatient with those who do 
intellectual theoritization.  Sorry, its a failure of mine and I won't waste 
anymore of anyone times with my ramblings, I'm too busy trying to create 
real solutions and don't have time for make beleive.

Rob Sandelin
Puget Sound Cohousing Network
Northwest Intentional Communities Association
Olympia Eco-Village project

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