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April 13, 2014 (San Diego)—Author Ben Ross will appear at Upstart Crow on Monday, April 28 at 7:00 for his book, Dead End: Suburban Sprawl and the Rebirth of American Urbanism. This event is sponsored by the Cleveland National Forest Foundation.


Dead End traces how the ideal of a safe, green, orderly retreat where hardworking members of the middle class could raise their children away from the city mutated into the McMansion and strip mall-ridden suburbs of today.

Ross traces the history of urban sprawl and lays out a practical strategy for change, drawing on his experience leading the largest grass-roots mass transit advocacy organization in the United States.

The problems of smart growth, sustainability, transportation, and affordable housing, he argues, are intertwined and must be solved as a whole. The two keys to creating better places to live are expansion of rail transit and a more genuinely democratic oversight of land use. These are issues that resonate in the San Diego region, where the Cleveland National Forest Foundation has sued to block SANDAG’s regional transportation plan that focused primarily on freeways, not mass transit, and where the backcountry has seen resources threatened by projects ranging from massive energy projects to residential sprawl.

Dead End is, ultimately, about the places where we live our lives. Both an engaging history of suburbia and an invaluable guide for today's urbanist, it will serve as a primer for anyone interested in how Americans actually live.

The book is scheduled for publication in April.  For more information, view link to the catalog information -- the book will also be in Oxford's spring trade catalog next month.