Published December 27, 2005

Dear Editor:

I was extremely impressed with Sun-Times architect critic Kevin Nance’s even-handed review of the Robert Bruegmann book, Sprawl: A Compact History [“Learning to Sprawl,” December 27].

Bruegmann correctly identifies sprawl as part of the process of housing and community development which provides more options for Americans engaged in upward mobility.

Environmentalists and other advocates of “smart growth” overlook the negative impact of their recommendations on blacks and other minorities and on all income groups seeking to find affordable housing and access to better quality schools and shopping amenities.

Urban sprawl is not about segregation and racism. Many communities are sensitized to the need for income as well as racial integration to provide housing for a local workforce as well as cultural diversity and entrepreneurial opportunities for everyone.

Ralph W. Conner ([email protected]) is public affairs director for The Heartland Institute. He recently served a term as mayor of Maywood, Illinois.