All-College Writing Contest


All-College Writing Contest Winner

Document Type


Date of Award


Author Comments

M. Robert Holland: Growing up in the Sunbelt, I was always fascinated by cities, architecture, and their respective dynamics. After moving to the Midwest to attend Lake Forest College, I began to observe the fundamental differences between pre-World War II urban areas like Chicago and "new" cities like Orlando and Phoenix. It also became increasingly apparent to me that the patterns of sprawling development characterized by the Sunbelt were incredibly inefficient-economically, environmentally and sociologically. To understand the problems of new cities, I would have to learn more about the history and other factors that had created "lost cities." Thus my journey began. Throughout my nine-month research for this project, I traveled to Phoenix, Dallas, San Francisco, and New Orleans, gathering perspectives on the effects of urban patterns over time. My discoveries led me to conclude that urban sprawl is in large part responsible for the dysfunction and gradual deterioration of our cities. Unless alternative patterns are soon instituted, America's future as a nation of great cities may soon be impossible. I intend to utilize the information gained from my research as the nucleus of a thesis, which I hope one day to use to implement alternative urban design patterns that will reshape the structure of American cities as we know them today. I



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