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Urban Sprawl

My presentation on Urban Sprawl for Sustainability Information Solutions weekly call.

Urban Sprawl is a situation where large stores, groups of houses, etc. are built in an area around a city that formerly had a few people living in it.

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Urban Sprawl

  1. 1. “Insert” then choose “Picture” – select your picture. Right click your picture and “Send to back”. The world’s leading sustainability consultancy Urban Sprawl By: Bill Burkey The world’s leading sustainability consultancy
  2. 2. The world’s leading sustainability consultancy My inspiration for this topic… 2
  3. 3. The world’s leading sustainability consultancy Contents What is Urban Sprawl? ■ Decentralization ■ Suburbanization Pros and Cons of Urban Sprawl ■ The “American Dream” ■ Air Pollution Maps of Sprawl ■ Examples of Sprawling Cities ■ Commute times What can we do to help with Urban Sprawl ■ Address Causes ■ Changes in Public Policy
  4. 4. The world’s leading sustainability consultancy What is Urban Sprawl? 4 Urban Sprawl is a situation where large stores, groups of houses, etc. are built in an area around a city that formerly had a few people living in it ■ Spreading of a city or its suburbs ■ Centered around auto-oriented, low-density development ■ Metropolitan Decentralization/Suburbanization ■ Impacts quality of life from large cities to small towns
  5. 5. The world’s leading sustainability consultancy What is Urban Sprawl? 5 ■ What is Decentralization? ■ Spread of population without a well-defined center ■ What is Suburbanization? ■ Occurs over time ■ Large percentage of a metropolitan area’s residential and/or business activity takes place outside of its central location ■ In 1950, 57% of the population and 70% of the employment in the U.S. took place in central cities ■ By the mid-1990s, these percentages had respectively declined to around 35 and 45%
  6. 6. The world’s leading sustainability consultancy Pros of Urban Sprawl 6 ■Less expensive land ■ “The American Dream” ■ Lower rent apartments ■ Lifestyle preference ■Better school system ■ Higher test scores ■ Lower dropout rates ■Crime rates generally lower ■ 37% higher in urban vs. suburban ■ 74% higher than in rural areas
  7. 7. The world’s leading sustainability consultancy Cons of Urban Sprawl 7 ■Automobile dependent/requirement ■ Increased traffic congestion and commutes ■ Higher air pollution ■ Increased levels of Auto crashes ■ Credited in part with obesity ■ Health issues ■Loss of Undeveloped Land ■ Affects water supply ■ Businesses, Schools, Services, etc. spread out ■ Roads/buildings destroy farmland and wildlife habitat
  8. 8. The world’s leading sustainability consultancy Urban Sprawl in Houston from 1984 - 2012 8
  9. 9. The world’s leading sustainability consultancy Urban Sprawl in Atlanta from 1985 - 2012 9
  10. 10. The world’s leading sustainability consultancy Lowest and Highest Sprawling cities in the U.S. 10 ■ The "Sprawl Index Scores" is derived from 22 factors that measure four different metro-development features: diffusion or concentration of housing and population; segregation or integration of homes vis-à-vis activities of daily life; lack or presence of strong economic and social centers; and connectedness or disconnectedness of street networks. Lower scores represent greater sprawl. The average score for the 83 metros included in the study was 100.
  11. 11. The world’s leading sustainability consultancy Average Commute time in the United States 11
  12. 12. The world’s leading sustainability consultancy Suburban Sprawl – Not as cheap as you think! 12
  13. 13. The world’s leading sustainability consultancy Not just an issue in the US 13 ■ Suburbs are growing 160% faster than city centers ■ Half of urban residents live in the suburbs ■ 17 of the more than 40 new developments underway/planned in Edmonton, net costs have been projected to exceed revenues by nearly $4 billion over 60 years ■ The City of London, Ontario found that over a 50-year period sprawling growth would entail capital costs $2.7 billion higher, and operating costs about $1.7 billion higher, than for a compact growth scenario ■ Governments in Canada spend almost $29 billion on roads every year ■ More than they spend on transit, rail, air, marine, etc. combined ■ In Calgary, adopting a denser growth pattern that used 25% less land, it could save $11 billion in capital costs alone
  14. 14. The world’s leading sustainability consultancy Gasoline used per person (per year) 14
  15. 15. The world’s leading sustainability consultancy Density versus World Population 15 ■This map demonstrates how large the single city would be if the entire world’s population lived in it, based on current city densities from around the world
  16. 16. The world’s leading sustainability consultancy What can we do to reduce the “cost” of Sprawl? 16 ■ Address the Causes of Sprawl ■ New Construction encroaches on natural spaces and farmland ■ Urban businesses and neighborhoods struggle to stay afloat ■ Better zoning/development plans that do not facilitate Sprawl ■ Prices encourage Sprawl ■ Prices have a profound impact on the decisions of firms and individuals, pulling them towards the fringes of our cities ■ Where to build new developments ■ Where to buy houses ■ Where to move or open a business ■ Cities, Citizens, Businesses, Governments, and the Economy will continue to suffer the cost of Sprawl
  17. 17. The world’s leading sustainability consultancy What can we do to reduce the “cost” of Sprawl? 17 ■ Changes in Public Policy ■ Shift prices to encourage development in established areas ■ Protect natural areas and agricultural land from further and future incursions of Sprawl ■ Help address Sprawl and also boost the economy and balance government finance ■ Sustainable and Smart Growth ■ Reinvest in neglected communities and provide more housing opportunities ■ Rehabilitate abandoned properties ■ Encourage new development or redevelopment in already built up areas ■ Create and nurture thriving, mixed-use centers of activity ■ Support growth management strategies ■ Craft transportation policies that complement smarter growth
  18. 18. The world’s leading sustainability consultancy Smart Growth cycle for Sustainable Cities 18 Smart Growth Enhance Quality of Life Promote Economic Development Create Livable Communities Promote Alternative Transportation Create a range of Housing Opportunities Preserve Open Space, Natural Resources and Environment
  19. 19. The world’s leading sustainability consultancy Plans for a Smart Growth America 19 http://www.smartgrowthamerica.org/images/boulder-poster.jpg
  20. 20. The world’s leading sustainability consultancy Questions and Comment time! 20

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