urban sprawl

Topics: Urban studies and planning, Urban planning, Smart growth Pages: 9 (2333 words) Published: February 20, 2014
Urban sprawl in North America


After the Second World War, the development of planning in North America transformed a lot. Under the influence of the war, the major planning principle of Britain in this period more focuses on post-war reconstruction and promoted the economic recovery. In contrast to Britain, although America attended the war, it had fewer negative effects on American development which it even promoted the economic development in America (Liu, 2010). Therefore, it became one of reasons that America appeared the phenomenon of ‘urban sprawl’ which caused a series of issues involved economic, environmental, transport, demographic and social areas. The general explanation of urban sprawl is that urban activities are mainly concentrated in the city from the central business district (CBD) and close range extend to the suburbs of the city. Urban morphology show a low-density form, the function of region is single and dependence of motor traffic which is completely different from the traditional pattern. Gu (2002) in his research indicated that urban sprawl will creative a number of issues including the high economic costs of suburban development, the destruction of the ecological environment and the increasing gap difference between rich and poor and class polarization and other social problems. Therefore, in order to relieve the negatives influences from urban sprawl, many countries establish relevant policies. Meanwhile, the emerging planning notion including New Urbanism promotes the process of solving these issues caused by urban sprawl. Thus, this essay will focus on discussion the impacts of urban sprawl and the measures of solving these related issues and phenomenon in terms of analyzing the relevant policies, the new notion of urbanism and smart growth.

The reasons of urban sprawl
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The impacts of urban sprawl spread rapidly and in Nor America which has a complex and diverse reasons. According to the research of Yu, Liu and Wang (2004), five factors were mentioned caused the urban sprawl in America: (1) Due to lack of the lack of effective government management system, the city developed rapidly but disorderly. (2) The rapid development of the automotive industry to make people more dependent on private cars, which caused the unsustainability of public transportation system. (3) Zoning laws were implemented to solve the issues of chaotic development of city which also makes single-function urban land use. (4) In order to satisfy the requirement of middle class, from 1920 to 1930, a large number of villas with garden were designed in the center of city which caused the inefficient land use. (5) After the Second World War in 1945, American economy increasing rapidly which promoted this phenomenon happened. Consequently, urban development did not match the expectation of designer which expected to institute the city basis on villa with a large scale of garden and private cars’ system. Therefore, the government implements relevant policy to avoid this situation and the most important concept is Smart Growth.

Smart Growth

Smart Growth as a planning notion has a significant effect on North America. In 1996, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (a government apartment that provide principle of Smart Growth in the network) established and which defined Smart Growth is development that change the pattern of traditional urban growth or no growth question to how and where should new development be adapted (Knaap and Talen, 2005). Generally, the major propose







neighborhood’s condition. Meanwhile, in the middle of 1990s, American Planning Association implemented Smart Growth by published relevant policies. 2 / 10

For example, in 1997, government produced a project named Growing Smart

Legislative Guidebook: Model Statutes for Planning and the Management of Change. In addition, the Natural Resources...

References: Dai, X.C. (2008) ‘American urban sprawl and growth management Lessons for
China (美国城市蔓延与增长管理对中国的借鉴)’, School of Architecture in
Fox, D. (2010) ‘Halting Urban Sprawl: Smart Growth in Vancouver and Seattle’,
Boston College International and Comparative Law Review, 33 (1), January,
COMMUNITIES?’, Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, December, pp.1-32.
Gu, K. (2002) ‘North American urban sprawl and Planning Strategy and Its
Implication’ (北美的城市蔓延与规划对策及其启示), CITY PLANNING REVIEW,
Knaap, G. & Talen, E. (2005) ‘New Urbanism And Smart Growth: A Few Words
from The Academy’, International Regional Science Review, 28 (2), April, pp.
Luo, T. (2006) ‘The analysis of Residential community walk Systems’ (居住社区
步行系统分析), Department of Architecture in Hunan University, May, pp.1-70.
O’Toole, R. (2008) A breath of fresh Air: The state of environmental policy in
Canada [Online] Fraser Institute
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30 May 2013).
United State Environmental Protection Agency (2012) About Smart Growth.
Available from: http://www.epa.gov/smartgrowth/about_sg.htm (Accessed: 31
May, 2013).
Yu, W.B., Liu, X.X. & Wang, Z. (2004) The American New Planning Movements
after Urban Sprawl and Its Apocalypse (美国城市蔓延之后的规划运动及其启
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