Funded! This project was successfully funded on September 5, 2011.


The UnSprawl book updates a dozen case studies of green communities. The result will be a new, dynamic full-color book.

The poet A.R. Ammons writes that:

            The soul is a region without definite boundaries:
               it is not certain a prairie
            can exhaust it
                        or a range enclose it:

In an age of global climate change, though, we may feel both exhausted and enclosed because of the kinds of communities we live in—places nearly indistinguishable from one another, places that put cars over people, that are inundated with toxins, that offer little sense or soul of place.

The journal A Journal of the Built & Natural Environments was founded back in 1997 to search for that interface—the integration—among the built and natural environments that might be called the soul of place.

Belmar in Lakewood, Colorado.

One of’s more popular features is our UnSprawl case study. With 27 issues published so far, we’ve examined more than two dozen unique, mixed-use communities that are decidedly not your typical suburban sprawl.

The case studies explore innovative developments that bring together sustainable design, a rich mix of retail and residential uses, and easy access to transit, plazas, and parks—while preserving the natural environment.

Prairie Crossing in Grayslake, Illinois.

Now we have the opportunity, working with Planetizen Press, to write a book that updates eleven of the case studies appearing in, plus adds a new one.

Planetizen Press is funding the publishing and distribution, but in order to update and re-photograph the projects, plus conduct interviews with the bright minds behind these communities—some of which have not been visited in over a decade—additional funding for travel is needed. That’s where you come in.

Community of Civano in Tucson, Arizona.

Our goal is to raise $2,500 to offset travel expenses, and with your generous support we’ll do just that. In return, you’ll get not only the satisfaction of knowing that you’ve contributed to an important creative and environmental project, but you’ll also get one of the rewards, which may include an electronic or print copy of the full-color book, a limited-edition signed photographic print of one of the projects, or even a personal tour of one of the communities.

The projects we’ll highlight in the book are located across North America, from Dockside Green in Victoria, British Columbia—that may be the world’s most sustainable new development—to Rockville Town Square in Maryland, one suburb’s comprehensive approach to creating a new, pedestrian-focused town center. The twelve neighborhoods are:

  • Belmar in Lakewood, Colorado
  • Rockville Town Square in Rockville, Maryland
  • Community of Civano in Tucson, Arizona
  • Dockside Green in Victoria, British Columbia
  • NorthWest Crossing in Bend, Oregon
  • Suisun City Waterfront District in Suisun City, California
  • RiverPlace in Portland, Oregon
  • Prairie Crossing in Grayslake, Illinois
  • Glenwood Park in Atlanta, Georgia
  • Lenox Village in Nashville, Tennessee
  • Prospect New Town in Longmont, Colorado
  • Second Street District in Austin, Texas

Prospect New Town in Longmont, Colorado.

Each of these developments has something to teach us on how to build and redevelop communities that are more environmentally, economically, and culturally viable—communities that counter the perils of climate change and create a definite and deliberate soul of place.

The full-color book will explore each project in detail, including the completely revised case studies, high-quality photographs, interviews, exclusive access to online content, and more. It will be available in both print and e-book editions.

Please join us in crafting this significant publication by contributing today.

RiverPlace in Portland, Oregon.


Photographs in video are by (or courtesy of) Simmons B. Buntin, Lotus Johnson, Busby Perkins+Will Architects Co., Community of Civano, LLC, Green Street Properties, Regent Development, LLC, and West Bend Property Company. They are used in the UnSprawl case studies by permission.

Photographs on this page are by Simmons B. Buntin.


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    Above + personal tour of one of the case studies, including onsite lunch (where available) with author Simmons Buntin or Ken Pirie

Funding period

- (30 days)