Essay on Urban Sprawl and the Automobile

Essay on Urban Sprawl and the Automobile

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Urban Sprawl and the Automobile


Urban sprawl is a widespread concern that impacts land use, transportation, social and economic development, and most importantly our health. Poorly planned development is threatening our health, our environment and our quality of life. Sprawl is blamed for many things such as asthma and global warming, flooding and erosion, extinction of wildlife, and most importantly the public health such as social isolation and obesity due to people driving everywhere. Building offices, homes, shops, schools and other buildings influences the building of roads, transit and other transportation modes. This relationship that can lead to safe, walkable, diverse and lively communities or out of control, poorly planned urban sprawl. Unfortunately sprawl has been winning and the public health is at risk.

Literature definitions for sprawl are difficult to pin down because there are numerous things that cause it and what it causes. Sprawl can be described as random development characterized by poor accessibility of related land uses. It affects the landscape being changed for the use of the public. Schools, hospitals, commercial strip development, and low-density residential developments dominate sprawl. As we sprawl farther from community and city centers, Americans are forced to drive more often and greater distances. As we sprawl more, we drive more. And as we drive more, we pollute more. Vehicle smog is one of the main pollutants increased by sprawl.

Smog looks and smells bad. The word itself sounds bad. In the short term, living with smog-filled air causes burning eyes, throat irritation and difficulty breathing. Over the long term it can lead to chronic lung disease, asthma attacks, debilitation, even d...


... middle of paper ...


... 15 to 25 percent in the number of miles people drive, hours of vehicle travel and projected pollution from a sprawl development forecast over the next 20 years. We can only hope that more equitable regulations will be set forth to lower pollution and help save the public health from its tragic downfall.


Works Cited:

1) www.epa.gov
2) www.epa.gov/otaq/04-ozone.htm
3) www.epa.gov/epahome/other2_0810.htm
4) www.lungusa.org/asthma/ascpedfac99.html
5) www.cts.cv.ic.ac.uk/staff/wp2-noland.pdf
6) www.census.gov/population/estimates/nation/intfile1-1.txt
7) http://www.ibiza-bangkok.com/bkk_c/traffic/index_e.htm
8) Brenner, Robert D. Testimony U.S. EPA before the Senate environment and Public Works Committee, August 1, 2000

9) Heart, Brennet, and Biringer Jennifer. The Smart Growth - Climate Change Connection. Conservation Law Foundation. November 1, 2000.

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