Shaping American Democracy

Landscapes and Urban Design

  • Scott M. Roulier

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-x
  2. Primary Landscapes

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 25-25
  3. Rival Democratic Designs

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 73-73
    2. Scott M. Roulier
      Pages 75-103
  4. Modernism: Promise, Problems and New Prescriptions

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 133-133
    2. Scott M. Roulier
      Pages 157-178
  5. Design Portfolios: A Juried Competition

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 179-179
    2. Scott M. Roulier
      Pages 181-219
    3. Scott M. Roulier
      Pages 221-231
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 233-237

About this book


This book argues that the design of built spaces influences civic attitudes, including prospects for social equality and integration, in America. Key American architects and planners—including Frederick Law Olmsted, Frank Lloyd Wright, Robert Moses, and the New Urbanists—not only articulated unique visions of democracy in their extensive writings, but also instantiated those ideas in physical form. Using criteria such as the formation of social capital, support for human capabilities, and environmental sustainability, the book argues that the designs most closely associated with a communally-inflected version of democracy, such as Olmsted's public parks or various New Urbanist projects, create conditions more favorable to human flourishing and more consistent with a democratic society than those that are individualistic in their orientation, such as urban modernism or most suburban forms.


New Urbanism Communalism Democracy Landscapes Thomas Jefferson Robert Moses Frederick Olmsted Architecture Public Space Private Space Property Design Landscape environment commons individualism

Authors and affiliations

  • Scott M. Roulier
    • 1
  1. 1.Political ScienceLyon CollegeBatesvilleUSA

Bibliographic information