What is Urban Sprawl (and what are the implications)? (2023)

Urban sprawl is onesubject that many recognize, even if they didn't find the specific term that describes it.

It is also difficult to explain, especially when it comes to identifying causes and possible solutions.

Despite this, urban sprawl remains a problem that needs to be addressed. do thatwe need to delve deeper into this topicto understand what it is and what dangers it can cause.

The purpose of this article is to help you understand urban sprawl and start that discussionalso offer possible solutionsfor ongoing urbanization.

What is urban sprawl?

What is Urban Sprawl (and what are the implications)? (1)

Urban sprawl is rapid, uncontrolled, low-density development radiating out from a population center into previously undeveloped or farmland areas.

This urban sprawl can lead to the urbanization of small suburban communities over time.This creates a new hub for suburban sprawl radiating out from these new residential areas.

Urban sprawl is now recognized as a major problem in terms of its impact on public health.

In addition, it is also considered to be an important factor contributing to a variety of environmental problems including climate change, waste production, habitat destruction and air pollution.

ÖCauses and effects of air pollutionNot all are man-made, but urban sprawl and the associated increased need for transport have a detrimental effect on air quality.

define urban sprawl

Urban sprawl is the ill-planned expansion of human population from the urban centers to the scattered outskirts of low-density housing.

Urban sprawl is a huge issue with far-reaching implications for the countryside and human populations.

A concise definition can help us narrow our discussion while pointing us in the right direction to find good solutions.

What is the GSCE geography of urban sprawl?

What is Urban Sprawl (and what are the implications)? (2)

Urban sprawl is the expansion from urban and suburban towns into rural or agricultural areas.

GREEN SPACE is land left untouched as urban areas expand.This protects wildlife, keeps temperatures cooler and helps the groundwater recover.

REGENERATION uses and revitalizes disused construction sites.It's more expensive in the short term, but it's a smarter way to grow as it helps protect green spaces from development.

reflective urbanismdirects the sprawl in a way thathelps minimize damage to land and ecosystems.

When taking your GSCE test, it's important to consider the causes and effects of urban sprawl, as we'll see below.

What are the causes of urban sprawl?

What is Urban Sprawl (and what are the implications)? (3)

There is no single cause of urban sprawl.Let's take a look at the top 10 contributors to urban sprawl.

It is widely recognized that there are a number of factors that all play an important role in the further development of small communities, open spaces and green spaces.

  1. growth of population
  2. lack of affordable housing
  3. high real estate prices
  4. Capital gains on rustic land
  5. Increase personal income
  6. Increased crime in urban areas
  7. Large corporate locations
  8. Employment opportunities available in the suburbs
  9. vehicle ownership
  10. transport infrastructure

ONEexpansion cardIt is useful for seeing areas of the country where population centers are sprawling. It is useful to note that these large areas are close to major metropolitan areas.

What are the two main causes of the scatter?

ÖThe two biggest drivers of urban sprawl are population growth and income growth.We'll discuss this in detail, but understand that as the population grows, the economy gets stronger.

This strong economy generates economic growth for the majority and continues to drive population growth.The strong economy also encourages increased immigration rates, which also contribute to urban sprawl.

These problems are interconnected and not all are bad.

Americans enjoy freedommove into desirable communities, increase their income as much as they want through work and education, and enjoy their homes and homes surrounded by loved ones.

This wealth not only benefits American citizens, but alsohelps create a better life for immigrantswho work in the United States to have a better future for themselves and their families.

As we discuss the 10 causes of urban sprawlWe need to look at problems from all angles, not just those we like, to get a balanced perspectiveon the causes, problems and consequences of urban sprawl.

Is expansion always bad? Not necessarily. It is bad when done thoughtlessly or haphazardly. A well-planned urban sprawl can result in a thriving but growing city that intelligently expands.

1. Urban sprawl is caused by population growth

What is Urban Sprawl (and what are the implications)? (4)

The first thought that most people have when they think of population growth is the US birth rate. Othe current US birth rate is a solid 1%an increase from 2021.

This is undoubtedly a factor contributing to urban sprawl. A young couple can be happy in a small city apartment even with a child. However, as their family continues to grow, they will be looking for more space.

Income also tends to increase with work and educational experience, allowing the growing family to move to a more desirable home.These houses are usually farther from the city center.

Urban sprawl is also caused by immigration

2022 will be the Americanforeign-born population (legal and illegal)Reached 47 million peopleand continues to grow rapidly.

  • The rate of immigration to the United States (both legal and illegal) is around 125,000 new residents per month as of 2021.
  • From 2022 there is1foreign-born resident for every 7 US-born residents.

Combine this immigration rate with the natural birth rate and you have a clear reason why there is an ongoing demand for more housing.

These factors are not alone. As you will see as we examine the causes of suburban sprawl,You will see how the causes are intertwinedmaking it a particularly difficult topic to discuss or resolve.

2. Urban sprawl is caused by a lack of affordable housing

What is Urban Sprawl (and what are the implications)? (5)

ÖLack of affordable urban housingBoxif you need living space, you have to keep lookingfrom place of work to place of residence.

Most metro areas have very expensive housing because they are in a desirable location for work-life balance.This makes it financially inaccessible to low-income working families and students.

There are a few ways this is seriously contributing to urban sprawl.

  • Apartments and houses are an hour or more away from industrial and city centersless desirable due to the running times.
  • That isA lack of comfort lowers rents and pricestherefore they are more accessible.
  • Distance to work and school means thatLocal residents spend more time on the streets.
  • More time on the road means higher vehicle emissions.
  • The willingness of students and staff to commute to work and school in metropolitan areascreates a housing boom in more rural areas, increasing real estate options and prices in the area.
  • These new and growing communities are beginning to renovate old homes, howeverThey eventually begin to spread across the land between the rural town and the sprawling city, filling the gap with low-density housing.

The solution is to build more affordable and attractive high-density housing in metropolitan areas that can keep residents safe.

In some cases, poor urban planning can also play a role, as densely populated and poorly planned urban areas push people to seek quieter places to live.

3. Urban sprawl is caused by high real estate prices

What is Urban Sprawl (and what are the implications)? (6)

High real estate prices in sought-after urban areasthey make it impossible for working-class families to live close to work and school.

That isFamilies are moving further from the city center to find affordable housingwhich also meets your space needs and lengthens your daily commute.

Large cities that can guarantee the safety of city dwellers enjoy very high real estate prices in urban areas.

OftSuburban residents have to drive more than an hourto find affordable accommodation that also meets the needs of their family.

What is gentrification?

What is Urban Sprawl (and what are the implications)? (7)

Gentrification, broadly defined, is the redevelopment of metropolitan areas that increases property values.

There is an ebb and flow in population patterns from generation to generation.Much of this has to do with city management.

Cities that manage urban areas wellTake advantage of young professionals moving to urban areas to work and enrich the economy.

  • This move coincides with an influx of cash.This can unfairly displace marginalized communities.as landlords try to get a bigger slice of the real estate pie by raising rents.
  • Urban growth caps are designed to help cities plan their growth wisely, but they are often stretched in favor of tax revenues.
  • When urban single-family homes are renovated, real estate values ​​rise. This is good for those who can enjoy the boom. Even though,It can drive tenants out of the community as landlords try to cash in on rising home values.
  • Ögenerallygentrification effectgood for urban city dwellersGentrification is revitalizing inner cities, attracting residents and industry.
  • Those who cannot afford to live in the city center are often forced to live in peripheral communities with lower rents and housing prices.This is particularly difficult for families who cannot afford the rising cost of transportation.

Cities that allow urban areas to turn into slums suffer as those who can afford move to safer areas.This abandonment causes businesses to close and move to more affluent areas.

  • this causesRents are falling, but so are living conditions.
  • While underserved communities can find affordable housingLiving conditions can be miserable.
  • This is a big factor contributing to suburban sprawl because instead of renovating old city houses and buildings,People are choosing to buy new homes in large areas that are within walking distance to work and school.
  • If prices are tolerable within an urban growth limit,Gentrification is more likely than suburban sprawl.
  • Gentrification increases property value, howeverIt is also a way to promote sustainable development in urban areas.

This is by no means an in-depth look at thepush and pullUrban expansion and gentrification.

The goal is to show thatThere is more than one factor to consider when talking about gentrification.Causes and consequences are not one-dimensional.

There is no one right answer to everyone's needs.

4. Urban expansion is driven by real estate gains in rural areas

What is Urban Sprawl (and what are the implications)? (8)

Often large parts of rural or agricultural landin easily accessible locations in metropolitan areas are divided up and sold to property developers.

As the city expanded into agricultural land, the countrythe value of large markets increases due to development potential.

Cities could prevent this by keeping rural zoning, butMost cities choose to annex and rededicate rural land for single-family or multi-family housing.

Tax incentives for the development of new local communities are very high.

Because ranch and farmland is passed down from generation to generation, there is no guarantee that children will continue to farm or tend the land.

Rising property values ​​increase capital gains from properties sold to developersAllow homeowners to retreat to the suburbs.

  • There is no answer to this riddle that is fair to everyone.
  • Some cities change everythingSingle-family to multi-family residential propertieslots.
  • This opens the doorDevelopers who can demolish a single family home and put a skyscraper in its place.
  • also dramaticincreases the cost of single-family homesduring the night.A blessing for those who want to sell, howevermost households outside of metropolitan areas.
  • Some counties tooStop rural zoning to force urbanization.
  • This policy is unfair to those who own land– Not granting them the freedom to see real estate earnings.
  • These policies also contribute to urban sprawlbecause the displaced urban population will move to the neighborhoodsoutside of these political zonesto get the housing they need and can afford.
  • Many people prefer to move to large areas outside of city limits becauseProperty taxes are much lower in unincorporated areas🇧🇷 This saves more money than is spent on commuting.

There is aPush and pull casewhich is also occurring between urban and rural property prices, with no clear answer to solving the housing crisis.

What factors influence real estate prices?

It is also important to note that theThe Federal Funds Rate has a lot to do with the health of the economy.

If thepolicy rateis lowMoney is readily available to lend at very low interest ratesfueled the rapid rise in real estate prices.

Lower tariffs also allow for better housing for people of different income levels.

When the Federal Reserve raises lending rates, it slows down the housing market and lowers the quality of housing people can get for their money.

That ishas an enormous impact on where people move and which population groups settlein any community.

5. Urban sprawl is caused by increasing personal income

What is Urban Sprawl (and what are the implications)? (9)

Personal income is one of the most important determinants of where people live, in conjunction with the Federal Funds Rate.

  • WhenLending rates are low and wages are risingallows people to move to more desirable areas.
  • These desirable areas are usually places where they havea little more personal space (a suburban backyard), walking distance to local grocery stores and work.
  • That iscreates a demand for smaller "bedroom" communitiesserving the urban population migrating to areas with new housing developments.
  • Rising incomes coincide with urban life only where urban developments are clean, safe, spacious and modern.

That isGrowth can be slowed down by inflationleading to a rise in transportation prices and making urban sprawl less desirable.

It's also being held back by rising lending rates, making these desirable suburban areas less affordable.

Even though,When interest rates on loans and inflation slow urban sprawl, the population begins to turn to urban development.raise real estate prices there.

National housing trends tend to ebb and flow with the purchasing power of individuals and households.

6. Urban sprawl is caused by increased crime in urban areas

What is Urban Sprawl (and what are the implications)? (10)

People don't want to live where they don't feel safe.

When crime in an urban area becomes disproportionatethose who can afford to leave will leave.

You will almost always choose a location further from the city center.often end up in a booming suburban area.

Once this change has taken placeIt could take decades for the city to recover and attract residents and businessesback downtown. Nonetheless,Rents are low and house prices are low.

It makes life affordable, but if families don't live there safely, they will.stretch out financially to live in the safest area they can afford.

7. Urban sprawl is caused by business locations

What is Urban Sprawl (and what are the implications)? (11)

Typically, the offices of large companies are located in established metropolitan areas.Those who have to work in the office building have to live within walking distance.

If the neighborhoods are around the office buildingbusy, unsafe or crowded,Employees will seek housing further from the city center.

  • Strangely enoughIn 2020 almost everyone was working from home– a welcome change for many.
  • Teleworking has rapidly increased urban sprawland dramatic, because employees were able to escape the constraints of urban space and still keep their income.
  • LotsThe sprawl was fueled by speculation that companies would permanently maintain remote working conditions.
  • impostorMost companies now require in-person work days, this one hasIncrease in CO2 emissionsthose who moved out of town but now have to commute to work.

Time will tell how that developsbecause interest rates on loans are constantly rising, which slows down the housing market in many communities that have made use of homeworking.

8. Urban sprawl is caused by employment in the suburbs

Urban sprawl brings with it economic growth.Small towns are sometimes revitalized by clinging to local residents' commuting strategies.

In many cases a developerBuy a large piece of land and start a planned communityThis includes apartments, convenience stores, grocery stores, furniture and home goods stores, and restaurants.

These small communities have everything residents need to stay out of town when not working.

during thissmall communities contribute to urban sprawl,they alsoHelp reduce residents' carbon emissionsby not requiring them to travel out of town for what they need.

It also brings more job opportunities and can evenattract new businesses that can employ community members and further restrict travel.

While some see job opportunities in the suburbs as negative because they push people out of urban development areas into urban sprawl,It also helps those who are expanding to avoid so much crowding out.

Well-planned communities can be hiker and bike friendlywhich also helps reduce CO2 emissions associated with urban sprawl.

New municipal planning strategies focus onLimiting concrete, maximizing walking and cycling scores, and ensuring a high proportion of green space and open space.

9. Urban sprawl is caused by vehicle ownership

What is Urban Sprawl (and what are the implications)? (12)

Since the end of World War IIOwning a vehicle has become a matter of course for almost everyone.We love having the freedom to go where we want, when we want.

vehicle ownership enables urban sprawl,but it's not necessarily a bad thing🇧🇷 Let's explore the many facets of personal vehicle ownership from both sides of the issue.

  • If you own a vehicle, you can use it to commute to a commune that is far from work.This significantly increases your carbon footprint.
  • Thosewalk, cycle or use public transport without a carDrastically reduce your carbon footprint.
  • If you own a vehicle, you own itpersonal freedom to look for a better job.
  • Thosesinthe vehicles arevery limitedfor your transportation optionsmakes them economically vulnerable.
  • Thosesinvehicles oftenthey have to do a job they don't like for less pay than they earnbecause they cannot lead to a better job.
  • who has a carYou don't have to live in an unsafe or unwanted community..
  • ThosesinVehicles are oftenabandoned in communities that are not safeor left in run-down apartments because they cannot travel between work and better housing.This makes them vulnerable to real estate and job crises.

So yes,Private vehicle ownership increases carbon emissions and encourages urban sprawl, but it is also a safety mechanism for individuals and communities.

Those without transportation tend to be the most vulnerable to unwanted work, school, and housing situations.

10. Urban sprawl is caused by transport infrastructure

Urban sprawl is also in a tug-of-war with transport infrastructure.

  • Good road systems doTravel faster, easier and saferfrom one place to the next.
  • Good road systems tooto travel faster and easier between a dorm roommate and an urban work center.
  • However, it isUrban sprawl needs better roads🇧🇷 When people move away from urban centers, thethe old roads are no longer sufficient for the volume of traffic.
  • ONEA good example of this is Los Angeles.suffering from a continuous cycle of congested roads combined with a mobile population.

Many communities are served bygood S-Bahn lines, light rail, trams and buses🇧🇷 It's smart that citiesto keep these public transport systems safe and accessible.

The more people use public transport, the fewer traffic jams there are on the roads andless CO2 emissions from private vehicles.

It is advisable to visit areas without public transportKeep roads in good condition and provide highways that allow for fast travel.

The longer a car sits on the road, the more carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and other greenhouse gases are emitted from unused tailpipes.It's better to get people to their destination faster.

On the other hand,Freedom of movement makes urban sprawl more attractivefor those tired of living in urban areas.

surely there is onegive and receivewhen it comes to the pros and cons of a commuter population.

5 examples of urban expansion

What is Urban Sprawl (and what are the implications)? (13)

Some of the major metropolitan cities in the United States arealmost iconic for the sprawling housing estates in routes.

  1. Atlanta, Georgia - approx.500,000 people spread over 134 milesfrom the suburbs.
  2. Phoenix, Arizona -1.5 million people spread over 517 square miles.
  3. Los Angeles County, California: 10 million people on 4,058 miles. However insideIn the Los Angeles area, urban sprawl has resulted in cities and counties being so densely populated that there are no boundaries or distinctions.🇧🇷 Thanks to more sustainable urban development, it has also gained population density.
  4. Houston, Texas -2,300,000 people spread over 665 miles.Interestingly, while Texas cities are definitely expanding,They are also increasing in population densityin metropolitan areas -a net reduction in scatter.
  5. Chicago, Illinois: 2.7 million people in 234 square miles. That's not bad population density, thoughdoes not account for people leaving Chicagofor sprawling suburbs not within city limits.The spread near Chicago is huge and growing.

Urban expansion is taking place in small, medium and large cities as people seek better living conditions for themselves.

However, it is interesting to note that there issignificant increases in urban density in certain cities that support this trend.

What are the effects of urban sprawl?

Urban sprawl looks like quiet communities emerging on the fringes.Urban sprawl can be nearly invisible in densely forested areas.

Urban sprawl has significant impacts on people, land and native species.Let's take a look at the effects of urban sprawl.

Effects of urban expansion on natural habitats

What is Urban Sprawl (and what are the implications)? (14)

The main problem of urban sprawl is thatLoss of natural habitats for various animal species.

The more land is consumed by development,Animal species are expelledand possibly in danger.

More and more cities are dedicating open spaces and wildlife sanctuaries to help wildlife, but thisInterventions damage vast areas of natural wildlife habitat that cannot be restored.

Effects of urban expansion on the environment

As we discussed earlier, increasing urban sprawl means people are spending more time in cars.This increases the emission of greenhouse gases and the CO2 footprint per inhabitant.

The environmental problems posed by land use for expanding suburbs are far-reaching.

Urban development increases the heat index of urban and suburban areas due to the reflection and retention of heat from asphalt and concrete.

Cities can help by creating more green space, but in drought-stricken areas, theseGreen areas cannot be maintained.

Effects of urban expansion on the economy

From an economic point of view, urban sprawl can be good.The more people invest in homes, cars, energy and other luxuries, the more money circulates.

Urban sprawl also creates demandFor grocery stores, restaurants, fast food chains, hardware stores, home improvement stores, sporting goods stores, gyms and leisure centers, schools, etc.

It's about where the money goes.As money flows to the suburbs, urban areas suffer a loss of income.

Effects of urban expansion on water consumption

What is Urban Sprawl (and what are the implications)? (15)

Urban sprawl has a huge impact on water use.In urban areas there is less green space and less water consumption.

Suburban dwellers enjoy many gardens, parks and urban areas.These require the water to remain green, a requirement that is not met when the land is underdeveloped.

That is aBig problem for cities like Las Vegasit hasspread across the desert, dependent on a newly developed water source that is rapidly drying up.

Impact of urban sprawl on human health

What is Urban Sprawl (and what are the implications)? (16)

The impact of urban sprawl on human health is worrying.

  • ÖRising emissions pollute the air we breathe, which makes us more prone to breathing problems andeffect of carcinogens.
  • travel time in vehiclesincreases the overall obesity rate.
  • That also means the time spent commutingPeople eat fewer healthy foodsand more fast food, generally harmful.

But as hospitals and medical clinics are also moving to booming areas, people are tending tohave better access to a variety of healthcare services in your area.

In general, people trapped in the maze of urban sprawl move less overall.Planned communities with good sidewalks and beautiful parks encourage people to get out and exercise.

Walkable communities lead to less air pollution and better health for the population.

Effects of urban sprawl on relationships

When people distance themselves from each other, they tend toless meaningful relationships. However, urban sprawl is not the only reason for this.

As we know,ready entertainment and digital relationshipsthey have largely replaced interpersonal communication between people. This is a bigger problem than can be attributed to urban sprawl.

However, an hour's drive to your favorite restaurant with friendscan be a significant impediment to quality timespent with special people.

Urban expansion solutions

What is Urban Sprawl (and what are the implications)? (17)

One of the main problems of urban sprawl is that it is difficult to find possible solutions to the problem.

A growing population needs housing, andA forced increase in urban density creates a number of problemsincluding home prices, crime rates, garbage and sewage services, and transportation costs.

There is howeverOrganizations trying to solve the problemwhat happened to youa number of possible solutions.

  • Converting old municipal buildings into new apartment buildings.From old factories to government buildings, everything can be converted into comfortable rooms.
  • Focus on community spirit.Give residents a reason to be proud of their city and they'll visit and move to the downtown halls more often.
  • Transform some old city areas into beautiful urban oases.Not everything has to be specific. Green spaces are relaxing and peaceful, encouraging people to move to urban areas.
  • Ensure the safety of residents.The topic is much discussed, but the fact is that residents leave run-down urban areas when they do not feel safe. Ensuring public safety is a primary responsibility of local governments, however they choose to do so.
  • Encourage community participation.City beautification, urban gardening, and tackling litter and graffiti can drastically change the demographics and density of urban areas.

Although these are all good ideas that will actually work,You must confront the city's practical problems and mistakes that lead to urban sprawl in the first place.

frequently asked questions

Q: How does urban sprawl affect climate change?

A: Lo has a negative effect.Urban sprawl increases atmospheric temperatures and significantly increases greenhouse gas emissions.

Q: Why is it difficult to control city sprawl?

ONE:It is difficult to control urban sprawl as there are often urban issues that make residents want to leave urban areas and seek refuge further away from the city.

Once these issues take root in a city, they cannot be changed overnight.Smart city policies and careful urban planning are required to make the city center attractive for residential and commercial purposes.

Q: What is Smart Growth?

A: Smart growth is a movement that seeksHelp community leaders with planningsmarter urban and suburban areas.From safer sidewalks to better running results, it's a movement designed to make city life smarter and safer.

Q: Why is smart growth better than expansion?

ONE:Smart growth aims to improve life in densely populated areas to make them more attractive for housing.

Urban sprawl is desirable for many reasons, but it comes at a high cost to the environment, wildlife and human health.

By making local communities smarter rather than bigger, these issues can be mitigated over time.

final thoughts

As with many environmental problemsUrban sprawl is a complex problem with no simple solution.

The demands of a growing population combined with technological advances are makingeasier for urban areas to spread into rural and natural habitats.

Simply opposing urban sprawl is not effective.There must be an incentive for the population to choose to live in urban areas.

What do you think of urban sprawl? Do you have ideas to fight urban sprawl or to reduce the impact on the environment? We would like to hear your opinion.Play in the comments below!


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