The ‘Complete Streets' concept and movement in urban planning and policy has been hailed by many as a revolution that aims to challenge the auto-normative paradigm by reversing the broader effects of an urban form shaped by the logic of keeping automobiles moving. By enabling safe access for all users, Complete Streets promise to make cities more walkable and livable and at the same time more sustainable.

This book problematizes the Complete Streets concept by suggesting that streets should not be thought of as merely physical spaces, but as symbolic and social spaces. When important social and symbolic narratives are missing from the discourse and practice of Complete Streets, what actually results are incomplete streets. The volume questions whether the ways in which complete streets narratives, policies, plans and efforts are envisioned and implemented might be systematically reproducing many of the urban spatial and social inequalities and injustices that have characterized cities for the last century or more. From critiques of a "mobility bias" rooted in the neoliberal foundations of the Complete Streets concept, to concerns about resulting environmental gentrification, the chapters in Incomplete Streets variously call for planning processes that give voice to the historically marginalized and, more broadly, that approach streets as dynamic, fluid and public social places.

This interdisciplinary book is aimed at students, researchers and professionals in the fields of urban geography, environmental studies, urban planning and policy, transportation planning, and urban sociology.

chapter |14 pages

Complete Streets

What's missing?

part |102 pages


chapter |18 pages

Moving Beyond Fordism

“Complete Streets” and the changing political economy of urban transportation

chapter |17 pages

The Unbearable Weight of Irresponsibility and the Lightness of Tumbleweeds

Cumulative irresponsibility in neoliberal streetscapes

part |86 pages


chapter |20 pages

Curbing Cruising

Lowriding and the domestication of Denver's Northside

chapter |15 pages

Recruiting People Like You

Socioeconomic sustainability in Minneapolis's bicycle infrastructure

chapter |22 pages

“One Day, the White People are Going to Want These Houses Again”

Understanding gentrification through the North Oakland farmers market

chapter |27 pages

Reversing Complete Streets Disparities

Portland's Community Watershed Stewardship Program

part |113 pages


chapter |20 pages

Compl(eat)ing the Streets

Legalizing sidewalk food vending in Los Angeles

chapter |20 pages

Fixing the City in the Context of Neoliberalism

Institutionalized DIY

chapter |21 pages

The Most Complete Street in the World

A dream deferred and co-opted

chapter |24 pages

The Politics of Sustainability

Contested urban bikeway development in Portland, Oregon

chapter |16 pages

Incomplete Streets, Complete Regions

In search of an equitable scale

chapter |10 pages

Towards an Understanding of Complete Streets

Equity, justice, and sustainability