Urban Sprawl: History and Origin

Pages: 4 (1358 words) Published: November 11, 2013

Project 1
Issue history and Origin

Urban sprawl is a concept that creates zones called suburbs that spread beyond the outskirts of a city. Urban sprawl is characterized by a low-density auto-dependent development of once rural land and it transforms the land into suburbs and suburbs include various design features that make the suburbs car dependent. Urban sprawl belongs to a larger class of American development in general and urban sprawl has many parts including housing subdivisions, strip malls, shopping malls, fast food chains and car oriented development. It could be said that urban sprawl is an “increasing trend toward suburbanization” (Nechyba et al.). There is no doubt that urban sprawl exists in today’s society, take phoenix Arizona for example; beside portions of the inner city most residents are dependent on cars for transportation. Today many middle class families are addicted to the modern suburban lifestyle that is characterized by urban sprawl. It could be said that urban sprawl is irreversible, however it is dependent on fossil fueled transportation, expensive fuel prices could cause a reversal in urban sprawl. One could say that urban sprawl started from the birth of modern transportation, as trains, busses and cars began to pop up in American society. As the transportation improved many people now had the option for moving farther and farther away from their neighbors creating a society solely dependent on modern forms of transportation. Urban sprawl causes natural land to be excavated and modified for homes, streets, infrastructure and businesses. And thus urban sprawl singlehandedly changed the landscape of major cities in America. The United States has been sprawling since the mid 1800’s when westward expansion caused a movement expanded the United States of America. Manifest destiny was the mindset of America at the time and America grew and became an international power. For over one hundred years America had close knit city or...

Cited: Nechyba, Thomas J., and Randall P. Walsh. "Urban Sprawl." The Journal of Economic Perspectives 18.4 (2004): 177-200.ABI/INFORM Complete. Web. 8 Feb. 2012.
Black, J. Thomas. 1996. "The Economics of Sprawl." Urban land. March, 55:3, pp. 52-53.
Samuel, T. 1998. "Urban Sprawl is hot-Botton (sic) Issue in Many Cities Across the Nation." Si. Louis Post-Dispatch. December 20, p. B7.
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