Featured Reviews, VOLUME 5

Bird on Fire – Andrew Ross [Feature Review]

Bird on Fire - Andrew RossSustainability in the Valley of the Sun

A Review of

Bird on Fire:

Lessons from the World’s Least Sustainable City.

Andrew Ross.

Hardback: Oxford UP, 2011.
Buy now:  [ Amazon ] [ Kindle ]

Reviewed by Tim Høiland.

When Andrew Ross first came to the Phoenix, he was interested in learning what local artists were doing to revitalize downtown, a desert city with an urban core that, to many urbanists, leaves much to be desired. No city exists in a vacuum, however, and Ross soon came to the conclusion that to understand Phoenix he had to understand the story of the other cities and sprawling suburbs throughout the valley. It was through this research that he concluded that the Phoenix metro area — which includes nine cities with populations of 100,000 or more — was, as he puts it in the subtitle, “the world’s least sustainable city.”

Some may take issue with that claim, but Phoenix’s problem is evident: a sprawling population of four million and counting in a sun-scorched desert certainly poses significant sustainability challenges. Further, as Ross argues, a prevailing culture of rugged individualism and a widespread aversion to all forms of regulation have only exacerbated the sustainability challenges.

As a relative newcomer to Phoenix, I was particularly interested to learn what is being done to make Phoenix more sustainable, and what obstacles stand in the way. According to the book, the obstacles have for the most part gotten the upper hand. But with a heightened awareness of the need for more sustainable living across the country and around the world, Ross believes that Phoenix can point the way to the future, for better or worse.

Click the link below to continue reading on Page 2…


Reading for the Common Good
From ERB Editor Christopher Smith

"This book will inspire, motivate and challenge anyone who cares a whit about the written word, the world of ideas, the shape of our communities and the life of the church."
-Karen Swallow Prior

Enter your email below to sign up for our weekly newsletter & download your FREE copy of this ebook!
We respect your email privacy

In the News...
Understanding Christian Nationalism: Essential Books [A Reading Guide]
Most Anticipated Books of the Fall for Christian Readers!
Ten Theology Books to Watch For – September 2022
Journalist Barbara Ehrenreich died earlier this month. Here's a few video clips that introduce her work
Hilarious One-Star Customer Reviews of Bibles

Comments are closed.