Urban Sprawl

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An emerging issue is that of urban sprawl. While some aspects of urban sprawl has been seen since ancient times, this phenomenon has started gaining the most momentum in the past century, aided by the advancement of technology, especially with the rise of mass produced automobiles, houses and highway systems. Many people unknowingly contribute to this environmental problem, as is the nature of it. Urban sprawl deals with the growth of the suburbs, the area between the urban and rural areas of a city. Most of America’s largest cities and states, in terms of population, are prime examples of urban sprawl. Opponents of urban sprawl usually cite the government as a major cause of sprawl. The government may be a major catalyst of sprawl in the present day, but history of sprawl dates back to mainly an economic and social root rather than political. Ironically, urban sprawl is also known as rural sprawl; the terms just refer to the spreading of urban population and area into rural areas (Cornell University). With the encroachment of human development comes the destruction of wilderness areas, something that is commonly known to contribute to a wide variety of environmental problems. Automobiles are also a major part of sprawl, contributing to the depleting supply of global oil and the addition of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Noticing these negative effects, some communities around the country and the world are taking measures to reduce their city’s sprawl, ultimately saving the environment.

History and Description of Urban Sprawl
The roots of the suburbs and can be seen in thousands of years ago in Ancient Rome, where the city was incredibly crowded and dense inside the city walls. It had the population of presen...

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