The book is the first to examine how the suburbs can contribute to broader national and regional sustainability goals. Most books that examine the sustainability within a local or regional framework look at cities. In the book, we argue that cities are relatively easy places to do sustainability because of the top-down organization of governments and the reach of government services. Suburbs, in contrast, are extremely challenging places to advance sustainability agendas because of the diffused governments and government services, the density of infrastructure, and their political nature. However, it is important to make progress in these areas because of the massive size of their footprints in the United States when compared with other types of settlement patterns.
The book contains a range of case studies ranging from water and air pollution management to economic development and environmental justice. The book contains 17 chapters which include introductory and conclusion chapters by me and Dr. Garren. The introductory chapter highlights the history of sustainability and the importance of a suburban approach. The final chapter surveys some of the international issues associated with suburban sustainability, particularly in contrast to the United States, and also highlights themes that emerged from the case studies in the previous chapters. I am sure that many of you interested in sustainability will want this one for your bookshelves.