Episode 1: Sprawlanta

Episode 2


Enough with extreme kitchen remodels and plastic surgery - what really needs a makeover is the American city! Our towns, neighborhoods and public spaces are full of ugly sprawl, with huge consequences for our health and environment.

American Makeover is a six-episode web series taking you to six cities across America in search of the antidote to suburban sprawl.

Click here to watch our pilot episode about Atlanta, Georgia and the Glenwood Park Neighborhood built by Charles Brewer.

Sprawl: American Dream or American Nightmare?

Sprawl is devouring farmland and destroying wildlife habitat. It traps us in cars and makes us lazy. Today, the average American spends about three hours per day driving - three hours stuck in traffic, emitting carbon, burning oil, wasting time. The harmful effects of sprawl are well chronicled in recent news stories, books, and documentaries. But what is the alternative?

New Urbanism: The Alternative to Sprawl

New urbanism is about creating interesting and wonderful places to live, work, shop, eat, and play. They are towns and neighborhoods designed so you can get to most places you need to go by walking.

Where are these new urbanist towns and neighborhoods, and what is it really like to live there? That's what we hope to show you in this new series, American Makeover.

All six episodes will be broadcast FREE on our youtube channel.

DVD Coming Soon

The special edition DVD will feature the entire American Makeover series plus our award-winning short film "Built to Last" and many other bonus features.

Sponsorship Opportunities

We're offering a limited number of sponsorship packages on future episodes. If your company or organization is interested in this unique branding opportunity, contact producer Chris Elisara.

With ugly sprawl almost everywhere you look in America, it's time for a makeover...

Use the above links to connect with us and follow this project from concept to completion.

The producers of American Makeover thank our many generous supporters:



Notre Dame




green party kits






Planning Commissioners Journal

Congress for the New Urbanism

Bryan Aja
Chelsea Allinger
Steve Arnold
Todd W. Bonnett
Laura Buhl
Myrna Canin
Eduardo J. Castillo Cortés
Kevin Clark
Dan Cotter
D. Del George
Chris Desilets
Victor Brandon Dover
Margot Eyring
Stephen Filmanowicz
Andrew Graceffa
George Grasser
Jessica Haller
Eliza Harris
Mike Hathorne
Ronald Herr
B. Jackson
Tina Kayne
Michael Kersten
Jeni Key
Phil LaCombe
Jeff Leach
Michael McCarty
Marvin Miller
Steve Mouzon
Dave Munson
John W. Olsen
Daniel Olson
Josh Paget
Dave and Diane Paget
Stuart D. Post
Karen Pritchard
Andrew Remick
John Sanphillippo
Sandy Sorlein
Joseph Steindam
Padriac Steinschneider
Ted Timmons
Robert H Voelker
Mary Vogel
Drew Ward
Mike Wells
Mitchell Wittenberg

Built to Last award-winning short film

"Built to Last" explores the connection between the environmental crisis and how we design and build cities and neighborhoods.

Winner of The Congress for the New Urbanism CNU17 video contest in 2009.

Produced by John Paget, Chris Elisara and Drew Ward.


American Makeover is created and produced by award-winning filmmakers John Paget, Chris Elisara, and Drew Ward.

Longtime friends and creative collaborators, the three recently founded First+Main Media, a film and multimedia creative agency.

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New Urbanism is the antidote to suburban sprawl - a way of building traditional neighborhoods and cities that are walkable, healthy, diverse, and wonderful places. Check out the links below to learn more:


contact details

Chris Elisara, Ph.D.

John Paget | Paget Films

Drew Ward