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Urban sprawl (also known as suburban sprawl or urban encroachment) is the unrestricted growth in many
urban area An urban area, or built-up area, is a human settlement with a high population density and infrastructure of built environment. Urban areas are created through urbanization and are categorized by urban morphology as city, cities, towns, conurbati ...
s of housing, commercial development, and roads over large expanses of land, with little concern for
urban planning Urban planning, also known as regional planning, town planning, city planning, or rural planning, is a technical and political process that is focused on the development and design A design is a plan or specification for the construction of ...
. In addition to describing a special form of
urbanization Urbanization (or urbanisation) refers to the population shift from rural A rural landscape in Lappeenranta, South Karelia, Finland. 15 July 2000.">South_Karelia.html" ;"title="Lappeenranta, South Karelia">Lappeenranta, South Karelia, Finla ...
, the term also relates to the social and environmental consequences associated with this development. Medieval suburbs suffered from loss of protection of city walls, before the advent of
industrial warfare bombers under construction during World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a World war, global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved World War II by country, the vast majority o ...
. Modern disadvantages and costs include increased travel time, transport costs, pollution, and destruction of countryside. The cost of building
urban infrastructure Infrastructure is the set of fundamental facilities and systems that support the sustainable functionality of households and firms. Serving a country, city, or other area, including the services and facilities necessary for its economy to function. ...
for new developments is hardly ever recouped through property taxes, amounting to a subsidy for the developers and new residents at the expense of existing property taxpayers. In
Continental Europe Continental Europe or mainland Europe is the contiguous continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven geographical region ...

Continental Europe
, the term ''
peri-urbanisation Peri-urbanisation relates to those processes of dispersive urban growth that create hybrid landscape A landscape is the visible features of an area of land, its landform A landform is a natural or artificial feature of the solid surface ...
'' is often used to denote similar dynamics and phenomena, but the term ''urban sprawl'' is currently being used by the
European Environment Agency The European Environment Agency (EEA) is the agency of the European Union (EU) which provides independent information on the environment. Definition The European Environment Agency (EEA) is the agency of the European Union (EU) which provides in ...
. There is widespread disagreement about what constitutes sprawl and how to quantify it. For example, some commentators measure sprawl by residential density, using the average number of residential units per acre in a given area. Ohers associate it with
decentralization Decentralization or decentralisation is the process by which the activities of an organization, particularly those regarding planning and decision making, are distributed or delegated away from a central, authoritative location or group. Conce ...

decentralization
(spread of population without a well-defined centre), discontinuity (
leapfrog Leapfrog is a children's game This is a list of game with separate sliding drawer, from 1390–1353 BC, made of glazed faience, dimensions: 5.5 × 7.7 × 21 cm, in the Brooklyn Museum (New York City) '', 1560, Pieter Br ...
ging development, as defined
below Below may refer to: *Earth *Ground (disambiguation) *Soil *Floor *Bottom (disambiguation) *Less than *Temperatures below freezing *Hell or underworld People with the surname *Fred Below (1926–1988), American blues drummer *Fritz von Below (1853 ...
), segregation of uses, and so forth. The term ''urban sprawl'' is highly politicized and almost always has negative connotations. It is criticized for causing
environmental degradation Environmental degradation is the deterioration of the environment Environment most often refers to: __NOTOC__ * Natural environment, all living and non-living things occurring naturally * Biophysical environment, the physical and biological facto ...
, intensifying
segregationSegregation may refer to: Separation of people * Geographical segregation, rates of two or more populations which are not homogenous throughout a defined space *Educational segegration * Housing segregation * Racial segregation, separation of huma ...
, and undermining the vitality of existing urban areas and is attacked on aesthetic grounds. The pejorative meaning of the term means that few openly support urban sprawl as such. The term has become a rallying cry for managing urban growth.


Definition

The term "urban sprawl" was first used in an article in ''
The Times ''The Times'' is a British Newspaper#Daily, daily Newspaper#National, national newspaper based in London. It began in 1785 under the title ''The Daily Universal Register'', adopting its current name on 1 January 1788. ''The Times'' and its s ...
'' in 1955 as a negative comment on the state of
London London is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ''majuscule'') and smaller lowerc ...

London
's outskirts. Definitions of sprawl vary; researchers in the field acknowledge that the term lacks precision.p. 475. Batty et al. defined sprawl as "uncoordinated growth: the expansion of community without concern for its consequences, in short, unplanned, incremental urban growth which is often regarded unsustainable." Bhatta et al. wrote in 2010 that despite a dispute over the precise definition of sprawl, there is a "general consensus that urban sprawl is characterized by
n
n
unplanned and uneven pattern of growth, driven by a multitude of processes and leading to inefficient resource utilization." Reid Ewing has shown that sprawl has typically been characterized as
urban development Urban means "related to a city". In that sense, the term may refer to: * Urban area, geographical area distinct from rural areas * Urban culture, the culture of towns and cities Urban may also refer to: General * Urban (name), a list of people ...
s exhibiting at least one of the following characteristics: low-density or single-use development, strip development, scattered development, and/or
leapfrog Leapfrog is a children's game This is a list of game with separate sliding drawer, from 1390–1353 BC, made of glazed faience, dimensions: 5.5 × 7.7 × 21 cm, in the Brooklyn Museum (New York City) '', 1560, Pieter Br ...

leapfrog
development (areas of development interspersed with vacant land). He argued that a better way to identify sprawl was to use indicators rather than characteristics because this was a more flexible and less arbitrary method. He proposed using "
accessibility Accessibility in the sense considered here refers to the design of products, devices, services, or environments so as to be usable by people with disabilities A disability is any condition that makes it more difficult for a person to d ...
" and "functional open space" as indicators. Ewing's approach has been criticized for assuming that sprawl is defined by negative characteristics. What constitutes sprawl may be considered a matter of degree and will always be somewhat subjective under many definitions of the term. Ewing has also argued that suburban development does not,
per se Per se may refer to: * ''wikt:per_se, per se'', a Latin phrase meaning "by itself" or "in itself". *Illegal per se, Illegal ''per se'', the legal usage in criminal and antitrust law *Negligence per se, Negligence ''per se'', legal use in tort law *P ...
constitute sprawl depending on the form it takes, although Gordon & Richardson have argued that the term is sometimes used synonymously with suburbanization in a pejorative way. Metropolitan Los Angeles for example, despite popular notions of being a sprawling city, is the densest major urban area (over 1,000,000 population) in the US, being denser than the New York urban area and the San Francisco urban area. In the United States, for example, most of metropolitan Los Angeles is built at more uniform low to moderate density, leading to a much higher overall density for the entire region. This is in contrast to New York, San Francisco or Chicago which have compact, high-density cores surrounded by areas of very low-density suburban periphery, such as eastern Suffolk County in the New York metro area and Marin County in the San Francisco Bay Area. Some cases of sprawl challenge the definition of the term and what conditions are necessary for urban growth to be considered sprawl. Metropolitan regions such
Greater Mexico City Greater Mexico City refers to the conurbation around Mexico City, officially called Metropolitan Area of the Valley of Mexico ( es, Zona metropolitana del Valle de México). It encompasses Mexico City itself and 60 adjacent municipalities of Mexico ...
, and
Beijing Beijing ( ), as Peking ( ), is the of the . It is the world's , with over 21 million residents within an of 16,410.5 km2 (6336 sq. mi.). It is located in , and is governed as a under the direct administration of the with .Figures ...

Beijing
, are often regarded as sprawling despite being relatively dense and mixed use.


Examples

According to the National Resources Inventory (NRI), about of land in the United States was developed between 1982 and 2017. Presently, the NRI classifies approximately 100,000 more square kilometres (40,000 square miles) (an area approximately the size of
Kentucky Kentucky ( , ), officially the Commonwealth of Kentucky, is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ...
) as developed than the Census Bureau classifies as urban. The difference in the NRI classification is that it includes rural development, which by definition cannot be considered to be "urban" sprawl. Currently, according to the 2000 Census, approximately 2.6 percent of the U.S. land area is urban. Approximately 0.8 percent of the nation's land is in the 37 urbanized areas with more than 1,000,000 population. In 2002, these 37 urbanized areas supported around 40% of the total American population. Nonetheless, some
urban area An urban area, or built-up area, is a human settlement with a high population density and infrastructure of built environment. Urban areas are created through urbanization and are categorized by urban morphology as city, cities, towns, conurbati ...
s like
Detroit (strait A strait is a naturally formed, narrowing, typically navigable waterway that connects two larger bodies of water. The surface water generally flows at the same elevation on both sides and through the strait in either direction. Mo ...

Detroit
have expanded geographically even while losing population. But it was not just urbanized areas in the U.S. that lost population and sprawled substantially. According to data in "Cities and Automobile Dependence" by Kenworthy and Laube (1999), urbanized area population losses occurred while there was an expansion of sprawl between 1970 and 1990 in ;
Brussels, Belgium Brussels (french: Bruxelles or ; nl, Brussel ), officially the Brussels-Capital Region (All text and all but one graphic show the English name as Brussels-Capital Region.) (french: link=no, Région de Bruxelles-Capitale; nl, link=no, Brussel ...

Brussels, Belgium
;
Copenhagen, Denmark Copenhagen ( da, København ) is the capital and most populous city of Denmark Denmark ( da, Danmark, ) is a Nordic countries, Nordic country in Northern Europe. It is the most populous and politically central Constituent state, const ...
;
Frankfurt Frankfurt, officially Frankfurt am Main (; Hessian dialects, Hessian: , "Franks, Frank ford (crossing), ford on the Main (river), Main"; french: Francfort-sur-le-Main), is the most populous city in the States of Germany, German state of Hess ...

Frankfurt
,
Hamburg en, Hamburgian(s) , timezone1 = Central (CET) , utc_offset1 = +1 , timezone1_DST = Central (CEST) , utc_offset1_DST = +2 , postal_code_type = Post ...

Hamburg
and
Munich Munich ( ; german: München ; bar, Minga ) is the capital and most populous city of Bavaria. With a population of 1,558,395 inhabitants as of 31 July 2020, it is the List of cities in Germany by population, third-largest city in Germany, ...

Munich
,
Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin Berlin (; ) is the Capital city, capital and List of cities in Germany by population, largest city of Germany by both area and population. Its 3,769,495 inh ...

Germany
; and ,
Switzerland , french: Suisse(sse), it, svizzero/svizzera or , rm, Svizzer/Svizra , government_type = Federalism, Federal semi-direct democracy under an assembly-independent Directorial system, directorial republic , leader_title1 = Fe ...

Switzerland
, albeit without the dismantling of infrastructure that occurred in the United States.


History

Many theories speculate as to the reason for the creation of urban sprawl. The theory of "flight from blight" explains that aspects of living in urban areas, such as high taxes, crime rates, poor infrastructure and school qualities lead to many people moving out of urban areas and into surrounding suburban cities. Others suggest that Urban Sprawl is a natural product of population increases, higher wages, and therefore better access to housing. Improvement in transportation also means that individuals are able to live further from large cities and industrial hubs, thus increasing demand for better housing further from the noise of cities. This leads to the creation of sprawling residential land development surrounding densely packed urban cities.


Characteristics

Despite the lack of a clear agreed upon description of what defines sprawl most definitions often associate the following characteristics with sprawl.


Single-use development

This refers to a situation where commercial,
residential A residential area is a land used in which houses, housing predominates, as opposed to industrial district, industrial and Commercial Area, commercial areas. Housing may vary significantly between, and through, residential areas. These include ...
, institutional and industrial areas are separated from one another. Consequently, large tracts of land are devoted to a single use and are segregated from one another by open space, infrastructure, or other barriers. As a result, the places where people live, work, shop, and recreate are far from one another, usually to the extent that walking, transit use and bicycling are impractical, so all these activities generally require a car.Frumkin, Howard (May–June 2002)
Urban Sprawl and Public Health
''
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is the national public health agency of the United States. It is a United States federal agency, under the Department of Health and Human Services The United States Department of Heal ...
''. Retrieved on February 7, 2008.
The degree to which different
land use Land use involves the management and modification of natural environment The natural environment or natural world encompasses all life, living and non-living things occurring nature, naturally, meaning in this case not Artificiality, artifi ...
s are mixed together is often used as an indicator of sprawl in studies of the subject. According to this criterion, China's urbanization can be classified as "high-density sprawl", a seemingly self-contradictory term coined by
New Urbanist New Urbanism is an urban design movement which promotes environmentally friendly habits by creating Walkability, walkable neighborhoods containing a wide range of housing and job types. It arose in the United States in the early 1980s, and has gr ...

New Urbanist
Peter Calthorpe Peter Calthorpe (born 1949) is a San Francisco San Francisco (/Help:IPA/English, ˌsæn fɹənˈsɪskoʊ/; Spanish language, Spanish for "Francis of Assisi, Saint Francis"), officially the City and County of San Francisco, is a cultural, com ...
. He explains that despite the high-rise buildings, China's superblocks (huge residential blocks) are largely single-use and surrounded by giant arterial roads, which detach different functions of a city and create an environment unfriendly to pedestrians.


Job sprawl and spatial mismatch

Job sprawl is another land use symptom of urban sprawl and car-dependent communities. It is defined as low-density, geographically spread-out patterns of employment, where the majority of jobs in a given metropolitan area are located outside of the main city's
central business district A central business district (CBD) is the commercial and business center of a city. It contains commercial space and offices. In larger cities, it is often synonymous with the city's "financial district". Geographically, it often coincides with ...
(CBD), and increasingly in the suburban periphery. It is often the result of urban disinvestment, the geographic freedom of employment location allowed by predominantly car-dependent commuting patterns of many American suburbs, and many companies' desire to locate in low-density areas that are often more affordable and offer potential for expansion.
Spatial mismatch Spatial mismatch is the mismatch between where low-income households reside and suitable job opportunities. In its original formulation (see below) and in subsequent research, it has mostly been understood as a phenomenon affecting African-Americans ...
is related to job sprawl and economic
environmental justice Environmental justice is a social movement A social movement is a loosely organized effort by a large group of people to achieve a particular goal, typically a social Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting p ...
. Spatial mismatch is defined as the situation where poor urban, predominantly minority citizens are left without easy access to entry-level jobs, as a result of increasing job sprawl and limited transportation options to facilitate a
reverse commute A reverse commute is a round trip, regularly taken, from an urban area to a suburban one in the morning, and returning in the evening. It is almost universally applied to trips to work in the suburbs from homes in the city. This is in opposition to ...
to the suburbs. Job sprawl has been documented and measured in various ways. It has been shown to be a growing trend in America's metropolitan areas. The
Brookings Institution The Brookings Institution, often referred to simply as Brookings, is an American American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, from, or related to the United States of America, commonly known as the United States The United States ...
has published multiple articles on the topic. In 2005, author Michael Stoll defined job sprawl simply as jobs located more than radius from the CBD, and measured the concept based on year 2000
U.S. Census#REDIRECT United States census The United States Census (plural censuses or census) is a census A census is the procedure of systematically enumerating, and acquiring and recording information about the members of a given Statistical population, ...
data. Other ways of measuring the concept with more detailed rings around the CBD include a 2001 article by Edward Glaeser and Elizabeth Kneebone's 2009 article, which show that sprawling urban peripheries are gaining employment while areas closer to the CBD are losing jobs. These two authors used three geographic rings limited to a radius around the CBD: or less, 3 to , and 10 to . Kneebone's study showed the following nationwide breakdown for the largest metropolitan areas in 2006: 21.3% of jobs located in the inner ring, 33.6% of jobs in the 3–10 mile ring, and 45.1% in the 10–35 mile ring. This compares to the year 1998 – 23.3%, 34.2%, and 42.5% in those respective rings. The study shows CBD employment share shrinking, and job growth focused in the suburban and exurban outer metropolitan rings.


Low-density

Sprawl often refers to low-
density The density (more precisely, the volumetric mass density; also known as specific mass), of a substance is its per unit . The symbol most often used for density is ''ρ'' (the lower case Greek letter ), although the Latin letter ''D'' can also ...

density
development Development or developing may refer to: Arts *Development hell, when a project is stuck in development *Filmmaking#Development, Filmmaking, development phase, including finance and budgeting *Development (music), the process thematic material i ...
. There is no precise definition of "low density", but it might commonly mean
Single-family home A stand-alone house (also called a single-detached dwelling, detached residence or detached house) is a free-standing residential building. It is sometimes referred to as a single-family home, as opposed to a multi-family residential dwelling ...

Single-family home
s on large lots. Such buildings usually have fewer stories and are spaced farther apart, separated by
lawn A lawn is an area of soil-covered land planted with grass Poaceae () or Gramineae () is a large and nearly ubiquitous family In , family (from la, familia) is a of people related either by (by recognized birth) or (by mar ...

lawn
s,
landscaping Landscaping refers to any activity that modifies the visible features of an area of land, including the following: # Living elements, such as flora Flora is all the plant life present in a particular region or time, generally the naturally occ ...

landscaping
, roads or parking lots. In the United States 2–4 houses per acre (5–10 per hectare) might be considered low-density while in the UK 8–12 per acre (or 20–30 per hectare) would still be considered low-density. Because more automobiles are used in the USA, much more land is designated for parking. The impact of low density development in many communities is that developed or "urbanized" land is increasing at a faster rate than the population is growing. Overall density is often lowered by "
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leapfrog
development". This term refers to the relationship, or lack of it, between subdivisions. Such developments are typically separated by large
green belt A green belt is a policy and land-use zone designation used in land-use planning Land use planning is the process of regulating the use of land by a central authority. Usually, this is done to promote more desirable social and environmental ...

green belt
s, i.e. tracts of undeveloped land, resulting in an overall density far lower even than the low density indicated by localized per-acre measurements. This is a 20th and 21st century phenomenon generated by the current custom of requiring a developer to provide subdivision infrastructure as a condition of development. Usually, the developer is required to set aside a certain percentage of the developed land for public use, including roads, parks and schools. In the past, when a
local government Local government is a generic term for the lowest tiers of public administration Public administration is the implementation of government policy Public policy is a course of action created and/or enacted, typically by a government ...
built all the streets in a given location, the town could expand without interruption and with a coherent circulation system, because it had condemnation power. Private developers generally do not have such power (although they can sometimes find local governments willing to help), and often choose to develop on the tracts that happen to be for sale at the time they want to build, rather than pay extra or wait for a more appropriate location. Some research argues that religious ideas about how humans should live (and die) promote low-density development and may contribute to urban sprawl.


Conversion of agricultural land to urban use

Land for sprawl is often taken from
fertile Fertility is the capability to produce offspring through reproduction following the onset of sexual maturity. The fertility rate is the average number of children born by a female during her lifetime and is quantified Demography, demographicall ...
agricultural land Agricultural land is typically land ''devoted to'' agriculture Agriculture is the science, art and practice of cultivating plants and livestock. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of sedentism, sedentary human civilization, whe ...

agricultural land
s, which are often located immediately surrounding cities; the extent of modern sprawl has consumed a large amount of the most productive agricultural land, as well as forest, desert and other wilderness areas. In the United States the seller may avoid tax on profit by using a
tax break Tax break also known as tax preferences, tax concession, and tax relief. Tax breaks are a method of reduction the tax liability of taxpayers. Government usually applies them to stimulate the economy and increase the solvency of the population. By th ...
exempting
like-kind exchange A like-kind exchange under United States tax law The United States, United States of America has separate Federal government of the United States, federal, U.S. state, state, and Local government in the United States, local governments with taxes ...
s from
capital gains tax A capital gains tax (CGT) is a tax on the profit realized on the sale of a non-inventory asset In financial accountancy, financial accounting, an asset is any resource owned or controlled by a business or an economic entity. It is anything (t ...
; proceeds from the sale are used to purchase agricultural land elsewhere and the transaction is treated as a "swap" or trade of like assets and no tax is due. Thus urban sprawl is subsidized by the tax code. In China, land has been converted from rural to urban use in advance of demand, leading to vacant rural land intended for future development, and eventual urban sprawl.


Housing subdivisions

Housing subdivisions are large tracts of land consisting entirely of newly built residences.
New Urbanist New Urbanism is an urban design movement which promotes environmentally friendly habits by creating Walkability, walkable neighborhoods containing a wide range of housing and job types. It arose in the United States in the early 1980s, and has gr ...

New Urbanist
architectural firm
Duany Plater-Zyberk & CompanyDPZ CoDesign (aka DPZ) (formerly Duany Plater-Zyberk & Co.; formerly DPZ Partners) is an architecture and town planning firm based in Miami, Florida, founded in 1980 by the husband-and-wife team of Andrés Duany and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk. The firm ...
state that housing subdivisions "are sometimes called villages, towns, and neighbourhoods by their developers, which is misleading since those terms denote places that are not exclusively residential." They are also referred to as developments. Subdivisions often incorporate curved roads and
cul-de-sac A dead end, also known as a cul-de-sac (, from French for 'bag-bottom'), no through road or no exit road, is a street with only one inlet or outlet. The term "dead end" is understood in all varieties of English, but the official terminology ...

cul-de-sac
s. These subdivisions may offer only a few places to enter and exit the development, causing traffic to use high volume collector streets. All trips, no matter how short, must enter the collector road in a suburban system.


Lawn

After the
Second World War World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
, residential
lawn A lawn is an area of soil-covered land planted with grass Poaceae () or Gramineae () is a large and nearly ubiquitous family In , family (from la, familia) is a of people related either by (by recognized birth) or (by mar ...

lawn
s became commonplace in suburbs, notably, but not exclusively in North America. The development of country clubs and golf courses in the early 20th century further promoted lawn culture in the United States. Lawns now take up a significant amount of land in suburban developments, contributing to sprawl.


Commercial developments

In areas of sprawl, commercial use is generally segregated from other uses. In the U.S. and Canada, these often take the form of
strip malls A strip mall is a type of shopping center common in North America North America is a continent entirely within the Northern Hemisphere and almost all within the Western Hemisphere. It can also be described as the northern subcontinent ...
, which refer to collections of buildings sharing a common parking lot, usually built on a high-capacity roadway with commercial functions (i.e., a "strip"). Similar developments in the UK are called Retail Parks. Strip malls consisting mostly of
big box store A big-box store (also hyperstore, supercenter, superstore, or megastore) is a physically large retail establishment, usually part of a chain Roller chains A chain is a serial assembly of connected pieces, called links, typically made of m ...
s or
category killer A category killer is a retailer Retail is the sale of and to s, in contrast to , which is sale to business or institutional customers. A retailer purchases goods in large quantities from , directly or through a wholesaler, and then sells in s ...
s are sometimes called "power centers" (U.S.). These developments tend to be low-density; the buildings are single-story and there is ample space for parking and access for delivery vehicles. This character is reflected in the spacious landscaping of the parking lots and walkways and clear signage of the retail establishments. Some strip malls are undergoing a transformation into
Lifestyle centers A lifestyle center (American English), or lifestyle centre (English in the Commonwealth of Nations, Commonwealth English), is a shopping center or mixed-used commercial development that combines the traditional retail functions of a shopping mall ...
; entailing investments in common areas and facilities (plazas, cafes) and shifting tenancy from daily goods to recreational shopping. Another prominent form of retail development in areas characterized by sprawl is the
shopping mall A shopping mall (or simply mall) is a North American term for a large indoor shopping center A shopping center (American English) or shopping centre (Commonwealth English), also called a shopping complex, shopping arcade, shopping plaza or ga ...

shopping mall
. Unlike the strip mall, this is usually composed of a single building surrounded by a parking lot that contains multiple shops, usually "anchored" by one or more
department store A department store is a retail Retail is the sale of goods In economics Economics () is the social science that studies how people interact with value; in particular, the Production (economics), production, distribution (economics) ...
s (Gruen and Smith 1960). The function and size is also distinct from the strip mall. The focus is almost exclusively on recreational shopping rather than daily goods. Shopping malls also tend to serve a wider (regional) public and require higher-order infrastructure such as highway access and can have floorspaces in excess of a million square feet (ca. 100,000 m²). Shopping malls are often detrimental to downtown shopping centres of nearby cities since the shopping malls act as a surrogate for the
city centre A city centre is the commercial, cultural and often the historical, political, and geographic heart of a city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and ...
(Crawford 1992). Some downtowns have responded to this challenge by building shopping centres of their own (Frieden and Sagelyn 1989).
Fast food Fast food is a type of Mass production, mass-produced food designed for commercial resale and with a strong priority placed on "speed of service" versus other relevant factors involved in food science, culinary science. Fast food was created a ...

Fast food
chains are often built early in areas with low property values where the population is expected to boom and where large traffic is predicted, and set a precedent for future development.
Eric Schlosser Eric Matthew Schlosser (born August 17, 1959) is an American journalist and author known for his investigative journalism Investigative journalism is a form of journalism in which reporters deeply investigate a single topic of interest, such a ...

Eric Schlosser
, in his book ''
Fast Food Nation ''Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal'' is a 2001 book by Eric Schlosser. First serialized by ''Rolling Stone ''Rolling Stone'' is an American monthly magazine that focuses on music, politics, and popular culture. It wa ...
'', argues that fast food chains accelerate suburban sprawl and help set its tone with their expansive parking lots, flashy signs, and plastic architecture (65). Duany Plater Zyberk & Company believe that this reinforces a destructive pattern of growth in an endless quest to move away from the sprawl that only results in creating more of it.


Effect


Environmental

Urban sprawl is associated with a number of negative environmental outcomes. One of the major environmental problems associated with sprawl is
land loss Land loss is the term typically used to refer to the conversion of coastal land to open water by natural processes and human activities. The term ''land loss'' includes coastal erosion Coastal erosion is the loss or displacement of land, or ...
,
habitat loss Habitat destruction (also termed habitat loss and habitat reduction) is the process by which a natural habitat In ecology Ecology (from el, οἶκος, "house" and el, -λογία, label=none, "study of") is the study of the rela ...
and subsequent reduction in
biodiversity Biodiversity is the biological variety and Genetic variability, variability of life, life on Earth. Biodiversity is a measure of variation at the Genetics, genetic, species, and ecosystem level. Terrestrial biodiversity is usually greater near ...

biodiversity
. A review by Czech and colleagues finds that urbanization endangers more species and is more geographically ubiquitous in the mainland United States than any other human activity. Urban sprawl is disruptive to native flora & fauna and introduces invasive plants into their environments. Although the effects can be mitigated through careful maintenance of native vegetation, the process of
ecological succession Ecological succession is the process of change in the species structure of an community (ecology), ecological community over time. The time scale can be decades (for example, after a wildfire) or more or less. The community begins with relativel ...
and public education, sprawl represents one of the primary threats to biodiversity. Regions with high birth rates and immigration are therefore faced with environmental problems due to unplanned urban growth and emerging megacities such as Kolkata. Other problems include: * flooding, which results from increased impervious surfaces for roads and parking (''see''
urban runoff Urban runoff is surface runoff Surface runoff (also known as overland flow) is the flow of water Water (chemical formula H2O) is an inorganic, transparent, tasteless, odorless, and nearly colorless chemical substance, which is the ma ...
) * increased temperatures from , which leads to a significantly increased risk of mortality in elderly populations. At the same time, the urban cores of these and nearly all other major cities in the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...

United States
,
Western Europe Western Europe is the western region of Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven geographical r ...

Western Europe
, and
Japan Japan ( ja, 日本, or , and formally ) is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of an in ...

Japan
that did not annex new territory experienced the related phenomena of falling household size and, particularly in the U.S., "
white flight White flight or white exodus is the sudden or gradual large-scale migration of from areas becoming more racially or ethnoculturally diverse. Starting in the 1950s and 1960s, the terms became popular in the . They referred to the large-scale mi ...
", sustaining population losses. This trend has slowed somewhat in recent years, as more people have regained an interest in urban living. Due to the larger area consumed by sprawling suburbs compared to urban neighborhoods, more farmland and wildlife habitats are displaced per resident. As forest cover is cleared and covered with
impervious surfaces s are highly impervious. Impervious surfaces are mainly artificial structures—such as Pavement (material), pavements (road A road is a thoroughfare, route, or way on land between two Location (geography), places that has been Pavement (materia ...
(
concrete Concrete is a composite material A composite material (also called a composition material or shortened to composite, which is the common name) is a material Material is a substance Substance may refer to: * Substance (Jainism), a ter ...

concrete
and
asphalt Asphalt, also known as bitumen (, ), is a sticky, black, highly viscous The viscosity of a fluid In physics, a fluid is a substance that continually Deformation (mechanics), deforms (flows) under an applied shear stress, or externa ...

asphalt
) in the suburbs, rainfall is less effectively absorbed into the
groundwater Groundwater is the water Water (chemical formula H2O) is an , transparent, tasteless, odorless, and , which is the main constituent of 's and the s of all known living organisms (in which it acts as a ). It is vital for all known form ...

groundwater
aquifer An aquifer is an underground layer of water Water (chemical formula H2O) is an , transparent, tasteless, odorless, and , which is the main constituent of 's and the s of all known living organisms (in which it acts as a ). It is vital ...

aquifer
s. This threatens both the quality and quantity of water supplies. Sprawl increases
water pollution Water pollution (or aquatic pollution) is the contamination of water bodies ( Lysefjord) in Norway Norway ( nb, ; nn, ; se, Norga; smj, Vuodna; sma, Nöörje), officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic countries, Nordic c ...

water pollution
as rain water picks up
gasoline Gasoline () or petrol () (see the etymology Etymology ()The New Oxford Dictionary of English ''The'' () is a grammatical article Article often refers to: * Article (grammar) An article is any member of a class of dedicated word ...

gasoline
,
motor oil Motor oil, engine oil, or engine lubricant is any one of various substances that consist of base oilBase oils are used to manufacture products including grease (lubricant), lubricating greases, motor oil and metalworking fluid, metal processing ...

motor oil
,
heavy metals upright=1.2, Crystals of osmium, a heavy metal nearly twice as dense as lead">lead.html" ;"title="osmium, a heavy metal nearly twice as dense as lead">osmium, a heavy metal nearly twice as dense as lead Heavy metals are generally defined as m ...
, and other pollutants in
runoff Runoff, run-off or RUNOFF may refer to: * RUNOFF, the first computer text-formatting program * Runoff or run-off, another name for bleed (printing), bleed, printing that lies beyond the edges to which a printed sheet is trimmed * Runoff or run-off ...
from parking lots and roads. Gordon & Richardson have argued that the conversion of agricultural land to urban use is not a problem due to the increasing efficiency of agricultural production; they argue that aggregate agricultural production is still more than sufficient to meet global food needs despite the expansion of urban land use.


Health

Sprawl leads to increased driving, which in turn leads to vehicle emissions that contribute to
air pollution Air pollution is the presence of substances in the atmosphere that are harmful to the health of humans and other Outline of life forms, living beings, or cause damage to the climate or to materials. There are different types of air pollutants, ...

air pollution
and its attendant negative impacts on human
health Health, according to the World Health Organization The World Health Organization (WHO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations United Nations Specialized Agencies are autonomous organizations working with the United Nations and each ...

health
. In addition, the reduced physical activity implied by increased automobile use has negative health consequences. Sprawl significantly predicts chronic medical conditions and health-related quality of life, but not mental health disorders. The American Journal of Public Health and the American Journal of Health Promotion, have both stated that there is a significant connection between sprawl,
obesity Obesity is a medical condition A disease is a particular abnormal condition that negatively affects the structure or function (biology), function of all or part of an organism, and that is not due to any immediate external injury. ...

obesity
, and
hypertension Hypertension (HTN or HT), also known as high blood pressure (HBP), is a Chronic condition, long-term Disease, medical condition in which the blood pressure in the artery, arteries is persistently elevated. High blood pressure usually does not ...

hypertension
.McKee, Bradford.
As Suburbs Grow, So Do Waistlines
", ''
The New York Times ''The New York Times'' is an American daily newspaper based in New York City with a worldwide readership. Founded in 1851, the ''Times'' has since won List of Pulitzer Prizes awarded to The New York Times, 132 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of a ...

The New York Times
'', September 4, 2003. Retrieved on February 7, 2008.
In the years following World War II, when vehicle ownership was becoming widespread, public health officials recommended the health benefits of suburbs due to soot and industrial fumes in the city center. However, air in modern suburbs is not necessarily cleaner than air in urban neighborhoods. In fact, the most polluted air is on crowded highways, where people in suburbs tend to spend more time. On average, suburban residents generate more per capita pollution and
carbon emissions Greenhouse gas emissions are emissions of greenhouse gases created from a range of human activities that cause climate change, as they have increased concentrations in the earth's atmosphere. These emissions mainly include carbon dioxide emissions ...
than their urban counterparts because of their increased driving, as well as larger homes. Sprawl also reduces the chance that people will take the
bicycle A bicycle, also called a bike or cycle, is a human-powered transport, human-powered or motorized bicycle, motor-powered, bicycle pedal, pedal-driven, single-track vehicle, having two bicycle wheel, wheels attached to a bicycle frame, frame, ...

bicycle
for their commute which would be better for their health. Bicycles are a common mode of transportation for those living in urban centers due to many factors. One major factor many people consider relates to how, when one rides a bike to, say, their workplace, they are exercising as they do so. This multi-tasking is better for one's health than automatic transport.


Safety

A heavy reliance on automobiles increases traffic throughout the city as well as automobile crashes, pedestrian injuries, and air pollution. Motor are the leading cause of death for Americans between the ages of five and twenty-four and is the leading accident-related cause for all age groups. Residents of more sprawling areas are generally at greater risk of dying in a car crash due to increased exposure to driving. Evidence indicates that pedestrians in sprawling areas are at higher risk than those in denser areas, although the relationship is less clear than for drivers and passengers in vehicles. Research covered in the ''Journal of Economic Issues'' and ''State and Local Government Review'' shows a link between sprawl and emergency medical services response and fire department response delays.


Increased infrastructure/transportation costs

Living in larger, more spread out spaces generally makes public services more expensive. Since car usage becomes endemic and public transport often becomes significantly more expensive, city planners are forced to build highway and parking
infrastructure Infrastructure is the set of fundamental facilities and systems that support the sustainable functionality of households and firms. Serving a country, city, or other area, including the services and facilities necessary for its economy An ec ...

infrastructure
, which in turn decreases taxable land and revenue, and decreases the desirability of the area adjacent to such structures. Providing services such as
water Water (chemical formula H2O) is an Inorganic compound, inorganic, transparent, tasteless, odorless, and Color of water, nearly colorless chemical substance, which is the main constituent of Earth's hydrosphere and the fluids of all known li ...
,
sewer Sewer may refer to: * Part of sewerage, the infrastructure that conveys sewage *Sanitary sewer, a system of pipes used to transport sewage - several types of sanitary sewers can be distinguished *Storm drain, a collection and transportation system ...
s, and
electricity Electricity is the set of physical Physical may refer to: *Physical examination, a regular overall check-up with a doctor *Physical (album), ''Physical'' (album), a 1981 album by Olivia Newton-John **Physical (Olivia Newton-John song), "Physi ...

electricity
is also more expensive per household in less dense areas, given that sprawl increases lengths of power lines and pipes, necessitating higher maintenance costs . Residents of low-density areas spend a higher proportion of their income on transportation than residents of high density areas. The unplanned nature of outward urban development is commonly linked to increased dependency on cars. In 2003, a British newspaper calculated that urban sprawl would cause an economic loss of 3905 pounds per year, per person through cars alone, based on data from the RAC estimating that the average cost of operating a car in the UK at that time was £5,000 a year, while train travel (assuming a citizen commutes every day of the year, with a ticket cost of 3 pounds) would be only £1095.


Social

Urban sprawl may be partly responsible for the decline in
social capital Social capital is "the networks of relationships among people who live and work in a particular society, enabling that society to function effectively". It involves the effective functioning of social group In the social science Soc ...
in the United States. Compact neighborhoods can foster casual social interactions among neighbors, while sprawl creates barriers. Sprawl tends to replace public spaces with private spaces such as fenced-in backyards. Critics of sprawl maintain that sprawl erodes
quality of life Quality of life (QOL) is defined by the World Health Organization The World Health Organization (WHO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations United Nations Specialized Agencies are autonomous organizations working with the United N ...

quality of life
. Duany and Plater-Zyberk believe that in traditional neighborhoods the nearness of the workplace to retail and restaurant space that provides cafes and
convenience store A convenience store, convenience shop, corner store, or corner shop is a small retail Retail is the sale of goods In economics Economics () is the social science that studies how people interact with value; in particular, the Pr ...
s with daytime customers is an essential component to the successful balance of urban life. Furthermore, they state that the closeness of the workplace to homes also gives people the option of walking or riding a bicycle to work or school and that without this kind of interaction between the different components of life the urban pattern quickly falls apart.
James Howard Kunstler James Howard Kunstler (born October 19, 1948) is an American author, social critic, public speaker, and blogger. He is best known for his books '' The Geography of Nowhere'' (1994), a history of American suburbia The Swedish suburbs of Husb ...
has argued that poor
aesthetics Aesthetics, or esthetics (), is a branch of philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about Metaphysics, existence, reason, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy of m ...

aesthetics
in suburban environments make them "places not worth caring about", and that they lack a sense of history and identity. Urban sprawl has class and racial implications in many parts of the world; the relative homogeneity of many sprawl developments may reinforce class and racial divides through
residential segregation Residential segregation in the United States is the physical separation of two or more groups into different neighborhoods—a form of segregation that "sorts population groups into various neighborhood contexts and shapes the living environment a ...
. Numerous studies link increased population density with increased aggression. Some people believe that increased population density encourages crime and anti-social behavior. It is argued that human beings, while social animals, need significant amounts of social space or they become agitated and aggressive. However, the relationship between higher densities and increased social pathology has been largely discredited.


Debate

According to Nancy Chin, a large number of effects of sprawl have been discussed in the academic literature in some detail; however, the most contentious issues can be reduced "to an older set of arguments, between those advocating a planning approach and those advocating the efficiency of the market." Those who criticize sprawl tend to argue that sprawl creates more problems than it solves and should be more heavily regulated, while proponents argue that markets are producing the economically most efficient settlements possible in most situations, even if problems may exist. However, some market-oriented commentators believe that the current patterns of sprawl are in fact the result of distortions of the free market. Chin cautions that there is a lack of "reliable empirical evidence to support the arguments made either for or against sprawl." She mentions that the lack of a common definition, the need for more quantitative measures "a broader view both in time and space, and greater comparison with alternative urban forms" would be necessary to draw firmer conclusions and conduct more fruitful debates. Arguments opposing urban sprawl include concrete effects such as health and environmental issues as well as abstract consequences including neighborhood vitality.
American American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, from, or related to the United States of America, commonly known as the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is ...

American
public policy Public policy is an institutionalized proposal to solve relevant and real-world problems, guided by a conception and implemented by programs as a course of action created and/or enacted, typically by a government A government is th ...
analyst Randal O'Toole of the
Cato Institute The Cato Institute is an American libertarian think tank headquartered in Washington, D.C. It was founded in 1977 by Ed Crane (political activist), Ed Crane, Murray Rothbard, and Charles Koch, chairman of the board and chief executive officer o ...

Cato Institute
, a
libertarian Libertarianism (from french: libertaire, "libertarian"; from la, libertas, "freedom") is a political philosophy Political philosophy or political theory is the philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and funda ...
think tank A think tank, or policy institute, is a research institute A research institute, research centre, or research center is an establishment founded for doing research Research is "creativity, creative and systematic work undertaken to inc ...
, has argued that sprawl, thanks to the automobile, gave rise to affordable suburban neighborhoods for middle class and lower class individuals, including non-whites. He notes that efforts to combat sprawl often result in subsidizing development in wealthier and whiter neighborhoods while condemning and demolishing poorer minority neighborhoods.


Groups that oppose sprawl

The
American Institute of Architects The American Institute of Architects (AIA) is a professional organization for architect An architect is a person who plans, designs and oversees the construction of buildings. To practice architecture means to provide services in connection ...
,
American Planning Association The American Planning Association (APA) is a professional organization representing the field of urban planning in the United States. The APA was formed in 1978, when two separate professional planning organizations, the American Institute of P ...
, and
Smart Growth America Smart Growth America (SGA) is a US non-profit 501(c)(3) organization A 501(c)(3) organization is a corporation, trust, unincorporated association, or other type of organization exempt from federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) of Title 26 o ...
recommend against sprawl and instead endorses Smart growth, smart, mixed-use development, including buildings in close proximity to one another that cut down on automobile use, save energy, and promote walkable, healthy, well-designed neighborhoods. The Sierra Club, the San Francisco Bay Area's Greenbelt Alliance, 1000 Friends of Oregon and counterpart organizations nationwide, and other environmental organizations oppose sprawl and support investment in existing communities. NumbersUSA, a national organization advocating immigration reduction, also opposes urban sprawl, and its executive director, Roy Beck, specializes in the study of this issue.


Consumer preference

One of the primary debates around suburban sprawl is the extent to which sprawl is the result of consumer preference. Some, such as Peter Gordon, a professor of planning and economics at the University of Southern California's School of Urban Planning and Development, argue that most households have shown a clear preference for low-density living and that this is a fact that should not be ignored by planners. Gordon and his frequent collaborator, Harry Richardson have argued that "The principle of consumer sovereignty has played a powerful role in the increase in America’s wealth and in the welfare of its citizens. Producers (including developers) have responded rapidly to households’ demands. It is a giant step backward to interfere with this effective process unless the benefits of intervention substantially exceed its cost." They argue that sprawl generates enough benefits for consumers that they continue to choose it as a form of development over alternative forms, as demonstrated by the continued focus on sprawl type developments by most developers. However, other academics such as Reid Ewing argue that while a large segment of people prefer suburban living that does not mean that sprawl itself is preferred by consumers, and that a large variety of suburban environments satisfy consumer demand, including areas that mitigate the worst effects of sprawl. Others, for example Kenneth T. Jackson have argued that since low-density housing is often (notably in the U.S.A.) subsidized in a variety of ways, consumers' professed preferences for this type of living may be over-stated.


Automobile dependency

Whether urban sprawl increases the problems of automobile dependency or not, policies of smart growth have been fiercely contested issues over several decades. An influential study in 1989 by Peter Newman (environmental scientist), Peter Newman and Jeff Kenworthy compared 32 cities across North America, Australia, Europe and Asia. The study has been criticised for its methodology, but the main finding, that denser cities, particularly in Asia, have lower car use than sprawling cities, particularly in North America, has been largely accepted, although the relationship is clearer at the extremes across continents than it is within countries where conditions are more similar. Within cities, studies from across many countries (mainly in the developed world) have shown that denser urban areas with greater mixture of land use and better public transport tend to have lower car use than less dense suburban and ex-urban residential areas. This usually holds true even after controlling for socio-economic factors such as differences in household composition and income. This does not necessarily imply that suburban sprawl causes high car use, however. One confounding factor, which has been the subject of many studies, is residential self-selection: people who prefer to drive tend to move towards low density suburbs, whereas people who prefer to walk, cycle or use transit tend to move towards higher density urban areas, better served by public transport. Some studies have found that, when self-selection is controlled for, the built environment has no significant effect on travel behavior. More recent studies using more sophisticated methodologies have generally refuted these findings: density, land use and Accessibility (transport), public transport accessibility can influence travel behavior, although social and economic factors, particularly household income, usually exert a stronger influence. Those not opposed to low density development argue that traffic intensities tend to be less, traffic speeds faster and, as a result, ambient
air pollution Air pollution is the presence of substances in the atmosphere that are harmful to the health of humans and other Outline of life forms, living beings, or cause damage to the climate or to materials. There are different types of air pollutants, ...

air pollution
is lower. (Se
demographia's
report.) Kansas City, Missouri is often cited as an example of ideal low-density development, with congestion below the mean and home prices below comparable Midwestern cities. Wendell Cox and Randal O'Toole are leading figures supporting lower density development. Longitudinal (time-lapse) studies of commute times in major metropolitan areas in the United States have shown that commute times decreased for the period 1969 to 1995 even though the geographic size of the city increased. Other studies suggest, however, that possible personal benefits from commute time savings have been at the expense of environmental costs in the form of longer average commute distances, rising vehicles-miles-traveled (VMT) per worker, and despite road expansions, worsening traffic congestion.


Transportation inequality

Critics of urban sprawl say that the United States' improper treatment of minority groups' access to transportation is a major downside to the continuation of urban sprawl. In many urban centers, such as Los Angeles and San Francisco, transportation in minority areas is lacking. As found by Kate Baldridge of Golden Gate University Law, areas with high minority populations typically see less than adequate transportation options, leading to overcrowded and unsafe transportation routes that do not provide a comprehensive means of transportation. This disparity is made more evident because minority residents are more reliant on public transportation. According to Baldridge, this means that minority groups cannot move from urban areas, while people with higher incomes and thus better access to transportation can move out of urban areas and into surrounding suburbs.


Paradox of intensification

Reviewing the evidence on urban intensification, smart growth and their effects on travel behaviour Melia et al. (2011) found support for the arguments of both supporters and opponents of smart growth measures to counteract urban sprawl. Planning policies that increase population densities in urban areas do tend to reduce car use, but the effect is a weak one, so doubling the population density of a particular area will not halve the frequency or distance of car use. These findings led them to propose the paradox of intensification, which states: ''
Ceteris paribus, urban intensification which increases population density will reduce per capita car use, with benefits to the global environment, but will also increase concentrations of motor traffic, worsening the local environment in those locations where it occurs.
''


Risk of increased housing prices

There is also some concern that anti-sprawl policies will increase housing prices. Some research suggests Oregon has had the largest housing affordability loss in the nation, but other research shows that Portland's price increases are comparable to other Western cities. In Australia, it is claimed by some that housing affordability has hit "crisis levels" due to "urban consolidation" policies implemented by state governments. In Sydney, the ratio of the price of a house relative to income is 9:1. The issue has at times been debated between the major political parties.


Proposed alternatives

Many critics concede that sprawl produces some negative externalities; however there is some dispute about the most effective way to reduce these negative effects. Gordon & Richardson for example argue that the costs of building new public transit is disproportionate to the actual environmental or economic benefits, that land use restrictions will increase the cost of housing and restrict economic opportunity, that infill possibilities are too limited to make a major difference to the structure of American cities, and that the government would need to coerce most people to live in a way that they do not want to in order to substantially change the impact of sprawl. They argue that the property market should be deregulated to allow different people to live as they wish, while providing a framework of market-based environmental policy instruments, market based fees (such as emissions trading, emission fees, congestion charging or road pricing) to mitigate many of the problems associated with sprawl such as congestion and increased pollution.


Alternative development styles


Early attempts at combatting urban sprawl

Starting in the early 20th century, environmentalist opposition to urban sprawl began to coalesce, with roots in the garden city movement, as well as pressure from campaign groups such as the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE). Under Herbert Morrison's 1934 leadership of the London County Council, the first formal proposal was made by the Greater London Regional Planning Committee "to provide a reserve supply of public open spaces and of recreational areas and to establish a
green belt A green belt is a policy and land-use zone designation used in land-use planning Land use planning is the process of regulating the use of land by a central authority. Usually, this is done to promote more desirable social and environmental ...

green belt
or girdle of open space". It was again included in an advisory Greater London Plan prepared by Patrick Abercrombie in 1944. The Town and Country Planning Act 1947, Town and Country Planning Act of 1947 expressly incorporated green belts into all further national
urban development Urban means "related to a city". In that sense, the term may refer to: * Urban area, geographical area distinct from rural areas * Urban culture, the culture of towns and cities Urban may also refer to: General * Urban (name), a list of people ...
s. New provisions for compensation in the Town and Country Planning Act 1947, 1947 Town and Country Planning Act allowed local authorities around the country to incorporate green belt proposals in their first development plans. The codification of Green Belt policy and its extension to areas other than London came with the historic Circular 42/55 inviting local planning authorities to consider the establishment of Green Belts. The first urban growth boundary in the U.S. was in Fayette County, Kentucky, in 1958.


Maryland

Maryland underwent many "Smart Growth" initiatives, starting in 1997 with the Smart Growth Areas Act. This act allocated funding towards areas that either were already undergoing growth, or areas that had plans of growth. Maryland also implemented the 1997 Rural Legacy Act, which distributed grants to private land owners and allowed them to Transferable development rights, purchase development rights. Brownfields Voluntary Cleanup and Revitalization Incentive Programs also incentivized the usage of previously contaminated properties by allowing property owners to avoid liability for the property. The state also offered incentives, such as tax breaks and loans for repairs to contaminated areas. Another program created by the state of Maryland was the Job Creation Tax Credit Program, which encouraged businesses to relocate into select areas, reducing the intensity of urban sprawl in some areas. The Live Near Your Work Program also incentivized employees to purchase homes in areas closer to their work. This led to a reduced commute time, and more of an emphasis on homeownership rather than renting.


Contemporary anti-sprawl initiatives

The term 'smart growth' has been particularly used in North America. The terms 'compact city' and 'urban intensification' are often used to describe similar concepts in Europe, and particularly in the UK, where it has influenced government policy and planning practice in recent years. The state of Oregon enacted a law in 1973 limiting the area urban areas could occupy, through urban growth boundaries. As a result, Portland, Oregon, Portland, the state's largest urban area, has become a leader in smart growth policies that seek to make urban areas more compact (they are called urban consolidation policies). After the creation of this boundary, the population density of the urbanized area increased somewhat (from 1,135 in 1970 to 1,290 per km2 in 2000.) Although the growth boundary has not been tight enough to vastly increase density, the consensus is that the growth boundaries have protected great amounts of wild areas and farmland preservation, farmland around the metro area. Much of San Francisco Bay Area has also adopted urban growth boundaries; 25 of its cities and 5 of its counties have urban growth boundaries. Many of these were adopted with the support and advocacy of Greenbelt Alliance, a non-profit land conservation and urban planning organization. In other areas, the design principles of District Regionalism and New Urbanism have been employed to combat urban sprawl. The concept of circular flow land use management has been developed in Europe to reduce land take by urban sprawl through promoting inner-city and brownfield development. Although cities such as Los Angeles are well known for sprawling suburbs, policies and public opinion are changing. Transit-oriented development, in which higher-density mixed-use areas are permitted or encouraged near transit stops, is encouraging more compact development in certain areas: particularly those with light and heavy rail transit systems. Bicycles are the preferred means of travel in many countries: Also, bicycles are permitted in public transit. Businesses in areas of some towns in which bicycle use is high are thriving. Bicycles and transit contribute in two important ways toward the success of businesses: # People living the closest to these business districts on average have more money to spend locally because they spend less on their cars. # Because such people rely more on bicycling, walking, and transit than on driving, they tend to focus more of their commerce on locally-owned neighborhood businesses that are convenient for them to reach. Walkability is a measure of how friendly an area is to walking. Walkability has many health, environmental, and economic benefits. However, evaluating walkability is challenging because it requires the consideration of many subjectivity, subjective factors. Factors influencing walkability include the presence or absence and quality of footpaths, sidewalks, or other pedestrian right-of-ways, traffic and road conditions, land use patterns, building accessibility, and safety, among others. Walkability is an important concept in sustainable urban design. Land use policies are one potential avenue to reduce the effects of urban sprawl. These policies take the form of boundaries to urban growth, regional development rights, and development centralized in urban cities. Housing policies, such as inclusionary zoning, rental vouchers in suburban areas, and a focus on employer-assisted housing are another approach to combatting urban sprawl. Gasoline taxes and increased funding towards the construction of public transportation also help to reduce the necessity of commuting in and out of urban areas.


See also


Related topics

* Compact city * Conurbation * Effects of the car on societies * Gentrification * General Motors streetcar conspiracy * Index of urban studies articles * New pedestrianism * Principles of intelligent urbanism * Rural–urban fringe * Ribbon development * Smart growth * Town centre * Urban planning * Urbanization * Waste management * Wildland–urban interface


Related terminology

* Affluenza * Boomburb * Commuter town * Concentric zone model * Conspicuous consumption * Consumerism * Deforestation * Demography * Edge city * Elbow roomers * Garden real estate * Gentrification * Habitat fragmentation * Induced demand * Landscape ecology * Location Efficient Mortgage * Megacity * Microdistrict * Middle class * NIMBY * Overconsumption * Peak oil * Planned community * Prime farmland * Regional planning * Rural flight * Simple living * Spatial planning * Streetcar suburb * Suburbanization * Urban decay * World population


Notes and references


Further reading

* * * Crawford, Margaret (1992) "The World in a Shopping Mall" in Sorkin, Michael (ed.), ''Variations on a Theme Park, The new American city and the end of public space'', Hill and Wang, New York, pp. 3–30. * * * * DeGrove, John and Robyne Turner (1991) "Local Government in Florida: Coping with Massive and Sustained Growth" in Huckshorn, R. (ed.) ''Government and Politics in Florida'', University of Florida Press, Gainesville. * Frieden, Bernard J. and Sagalyn, Lynne B. (1989) ''Downtown Inc.: How America Rebuilds Cities'', MIT Press, Cambridge, MA. * * ''Edge city, Edge City: Life on the New Frontier'' by Joel Garreau, Garreau, Joel, Anchor Books/Doubleday New York, 1991. * Gielen, Tristan. Coping with compaction; the demon of sprawl. Auckland, Random House New Zealand, 2006. * * Gruen, Victor and Larry Smith (1960) ''Shopping towns USA: the planning of shopping centers'', Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, New York. * Hirschhorn, Joel S. (2005),
Sprawl Kills
– How Blandburbs Steal Your Time, Health, and Money.'' New York: Sterling & Ross. * Ingersoll, Richard, "Sprawltown: Looking for the City on Its Edges". Princeton Architectural Press, 2006. * Jane Jacobs, Jacobs, Jane. ''The Death and Life of Great American Cities'' * * * * ''The Geography of Nowhere: The rise and decline of America's man-made landscape'' () by
James Howard Kunstler James Howard Kunstler (born October 19, 1948) is an American author, social critic, public speaker, and blogger. He is best known for his books '' The Geography of Nowhere'' (1994), a history of American suburbia The Swedish suburbs of Husb ...
* Lewinnek, Elaine. ''The Working Man's Reward: Chicago's Early Suburbs and the Roots of American Sprawl.'' Oxford, England: Oxford University Press, 2014. * * * * * Vicino, Thomas, J. ''Transforming Race and Class in Suburbia: Decline in Metropolitan Baltimore''. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008.


Articles and reports

* Baumeister, M (2012
''Managing Urban Sprawl: Reconsidering Development Cost Charges in Canada''
* * Ontario College of Family Physicians. (2005
''Report on Public Health and Urban Sprawl in Ontario: A Review of Pertinent Literature''
* Rybczynski, Witold (November 7, 2005)
"Suburban Despair"
''Slate (magazine), Slate''.


Video

* ''Radiant City'', is a 2006 National Film Board of Canada documentary on suburban sprawl {{DEFAULTSORT:Urban Sprawl Urbanization Human geography Decentralization Urban studies and planning terminology Environmental terminology Environmental design Sustainable urban planning