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What Americans Build and Why examines five areas of Americans' built environment: houses, healthcare facilities, schools, workplaces, and shopping environments. Synthesizing information from both academic journals and the popular press, the book looks at the relationships of size and scale to the way Americans live their lives and how their way of life is fundamentally shaped by the highway system, cheap land, and incentives. This book is timely because although Americans say they crave community, they continue to construct buildings, such as McMansions and big box stores, that make creating community a challenge. Furthermore, in many ways the movement toward teleworking, discussed in the chapter on office environments, also challenges the traditional place-based formation of community. Although focused on the United States, the book also includes reference to other parts of the world, especially regarding the retail environment.