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Sustainable Development in the USA

Jean-Marc Zaninetti, University of Orleans, France

ISBN: 9781848211339

Publication Date: June 2009   Hardback   272 pp.

105.00 USD

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After the Second World War, a way of life widely adopted by many in the United States of America, based on unlimited consumption of land, goods and energy, was seen as a model for the entire world. Nowadays, this expansionist model is reaching its limit.
This book attempts to present a comprehensive study of the geographical basis of American population centers. This approach is especially relevant because one of the reasons why growth based on the US model is unsustainable is related to limiting factors of geography, such as harsh climates and the sheer physical size of the nation. However, another factor is the result of the cultural aspects of expansion and segregation. Urban sprawl, for instance, is widely seen as a real Achilles' heel, because it is in direct contradiction to many key tenets of the ‘cultural revolution’ required for long term sustainability.
From continental physiography to the case of New Orleans and Katrina, this book explores these issues with maps and charts created with the help of a nationwide multiscalar GIS.


1. The American Territory.
2. Developing the Territory.
3. A Rapidly Growing Population.
4. A Multi-ethnic Nation.
5. Regional Dynamics.
6. Economic Change and Territories.
7. A Suburban Nation.
8. Urban Fragmentation and Sprawl.
9. New Orleans in Dangerous Waters.

About the Authors

Jean-Marc Zaninetti is Professor of Geography, Spatial Analysis and GIS at the university of Orleans (France). His previous book was on the subject of Spatial Statistics.


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