An increasing number of signs have been pointing to a sea change in the patterns of sprawl that have shaped modern America: The burst of the housing bubble; a growing awareness of global warming; a relative shift in development away from the exurbs and towards center cities; and the new administration’s commitment to livability, smart growth, and high-speed rail.

At such a pivotal moment, we’d be well-advised to look back at how we ended up here in the first place, and a new DVD series is doing just that. “The Story of Sprawl,” produced by Planetizen’s managing editor Tim Halbur, traces the patterns of growth in America over the last 60 years, through a collection of well-chosen film clips going all the way back to Lewis Mumford’s 1939 “The City.”

Halbur’s also assembled a group of expert commentators to put these films in the context of how attitudes about cities and growth have evolved over the years. The star-studded line-up includes Andrés Duany and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, of DPZ Associates; James Howard Kunstler, author of the Geography of Nowhere; Anthony Flint, author of The Battle Over Sprawl and The Future of America; Prof. Robert Cervero, UC Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design; and John Norquist, President of the Congress for New Urbanism.

The 2-disc DVD’s official release date is April 20; you can pre-order a copy here.

Screen-capture courtesy of Planetizen.

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