by Peter Wolf
Rutgers University Press, 1999
Cloth: 978-0-8135-2696-6 | eISBN: 978-0-8135-6695-5
Library of Congress Classification HT381.W65 1999
Dewey Decimal Classification 307.240973


Hot Towns is about the vast, current national relocation of one million Americans a year. Successful, accomplished, and well-financed people of all ages are moving to communities they view as choice—places distinguished by fine climate, physical beauty, abundant natural recreation resources, and minimal social problems and low crime. Towns in this elite roster include Santa Fe, Aspen, Boulder, Bozeman, Chapel Hill, East Hampton, and many others.

These American boom towns, Peter Wolf writes, have grown in jobs and population at two to three times the national average. But warning signs of deterioration are already evident: overbuilding, failing natural resources, rising taxes, and traffic congestion are all taking a toll on these communities. Rapid migration can enhance or swamp America’s fastest growing and most desirable communities

Wolf examines the choices that people in these areas can make to both effectively accommodate growth and yet ensure their economic futures. A wise town undergoing growth will realize that what must be preserved is not the growth in-and-for itself, but the qualities which attract people in the first place. Wolf demonstrates how it is possible—even during a town’s rapid expansion—to enhance the quality of residents’ lives, to incorporate aesthetics and design into town evolution, to protect what is precious in nature, and to preserve the best that has already been built.

Wolf concludes with a practical checklist for the residents of hot towns, allowing them to evaluate how their communities are coping with growth.