UC Berkeley Berkeley Planning Journal Title A Gradual Reawakening: Broadacre City and a New American Agrarianism Publication Date A Gradual Reawakening: Broadacre City and a New American Agrarianism
Frank Lloyd Wright's utopian plan Broadacre City describes a decentralized, agrarian landscape. Post-World War II American suburbanization reflected many-but not all-aspects of Wright's vision. In response, a large body of literature on the harms of decentralized development was established and numerous alternative models for urban growth that aim to increase density, such as New Urbanism, were developed. However, the agrarian ethos of Broadacre City is missing both from American suburbia and
... ican suburbia and from responses to that suburban landscape. This absence is not incidental; there is a growing literature on biophilia, biologist E. O. Wilson's hypothesis that humans require the presence of nature to live healthy and satisfying lives. The contemporary rising interest in urban agriculture is an insurgent demand for the opportunity to reconnect with the land once again. In this paper, I argue that planners must recognize this insurgence by incorporating agrarian design, not only denser design, in their models of urban growth.