Ji Hyun Park Crean Lutheran High 12th Grade
Urban Sprawl indicates a spread of low-density urban or sub-urban development outward from an urban center to undeveloped land. They are characterized by strip malls, clustered housing, office parks, and “big box” retail stores. It also is the physical spread of development at a rate that exceeds population growth.
There are several causes of U.S Urban Sprawl. The interstate highway systems in the 1950s and 1960s caused a lot of Urban Sprawl to take place due to people living in suburbs but working in cities. Telecommunication and Internet allowed people to live further away from each other and Living Costs were cheaper in suburbs and rural areas compared to cities.
There were more land and larger houses in the rural areas so people preferred to live in suburban areas. The Urban blight, where people moved away from cities to suburbs caused more of the population to move towards the suburbs. The Government policies like zoning laws restricted private land for the greater good of the community.
However, Urban Sprawl has several different impacts in the community and the environment. It constrains transportation options, causing people to own more cars, drive more cars, and have an increased dependence on nonrenewable petroleum. The increased dependence on cars and petroleum causes a compromise in air and water quality, increasing CO2, nitrogen, and sulfur containing air pollutant in the air. Furthermore, it contributes to increased land conversion where existing forests, fields, and farmlands are destroyed for the creation of more urban and suburban centers. This is a crucial problem because forests, especially, provides vital services to the world.
There are some advantages in Urban Centers. Sustainable cities, if formed and run correctly, could be very beneficial to the environment. Sustainable cities are cities that can function effectively and prosperously over the long term, providing generation of residents a good quality of life far into the future. Cities and towns are sinks for resources but if done right, can minimize per capita costs.
Unfortunately, urban citizens suffer from noise and light pollution as well as the Urban Heat Island Effect. The Urban Heat Island Effect is when heat generated by buildings, vehicles, and factories cause a thermal pollution in the area.
These occur in heavily concreted areas lacking green space and disrupt collective cooling of the land. Heat Islands cause a lot of problems including health problems and increased use of power supply for air conditioners.
<Ji Hyun Park Crean Lutheran High 12th Grade