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Superbia: 31 Ways to Create Sustainable Neighborhoods


Superbia! is a book of practical ideas for creating more socially, economically, and environmentally sustainable neighborhoods. It is about remaking suburban and urban neighborhoods to serve people better and to reduce human impact on the environment.

The authors first trace the history of the suburbs, showing how they fail to meet many peoples' needs. They then describe how existing neighborhoods can be transformed, offering cohousing and new urbanist communities as examples. The reader is then guided through the transformation of a fictitious neighborhood that adopts the authors' thirty-one steps. Ideas for the blossoming of the suburb are described in order of difficulty, from easy to boldest, including:

- the creation of a neighborhood newsletter to foster a sense of neighborhood
- identity and cooperation
- regular community dinners, discussion groups, and baby-sitting co-ops
- the removal of backyard fences to create park-like spaces for community play areas, or gardens
- retrofitting homes for energy efficiency, and installing community energy systems.

Examples from all over North America and beyond provide real-life proof that citizen planners can create Superbia! And the most comprehensive resource listing imaginable puts all the tools needed at your fingertips.

About The Authors

Dan Chiras is the author of nineteen books including The Natural Plaster Book (New Society Publishers, 2003) and over 200 articles, a contributing editor to Mother Earth News, and an adjunct professor at Colorado College.

Dave Wann has produced six video programs on community, is coauthor of Affluenza: The All-Consuming Epidemic and two other books about design. Both live in Colorado.

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What You Should Know
Well-illustrated and reader-friendly, Superbia! is written primarily for the millions who live in urban areas or existing suburbs. It will also be of major interest to environmentalists, planners, and all who want to create a more humane and nurturing lifestyle.
This book helps to emphasize the isolation of the typical suburban house and shows how the community design seems to emphasize private space instead of community.
This book gives ideas for building or restoring neighborhoods to promote happiness and to reduce stress. While some say we are not a product of our environment, it only takes a little research to find out that where there is more hope and a greater sense of community, humans seem to thrive.
"...research reveals that in a closely knit community, levels of serotonin (a natural anti-depressant) are higher, so the neighborhood is collectively more optimistic and energetic."