The High Price of Urban Sprawl Essay

The High Price of Urban Sprawl Essay

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Urban sprawl is a social pattern describing the way cities continue to grow outward uncontrollably. People who do not want to live in an urban atmosphere often seek refuge in suburban areas that have access to metropolitan areas. As more people follow this trend the suburban areas slowly become developed and new areas must be sought for people to inhabit. This leaves some city workers commuting in trains, cars, or even buses for hours. Urban sprawl is not the luxury that it seems to be but actually a social pattern with a great deal of costs.

Although people who submit to urban sprawl believe they are getting the best of both worlds, working in the center of development while also living away from it, they also suffer great losses. Land is used improperly, the environment is damaged, and a long and expensive commute is created. While it seems that living away from the city is worthwhile to people in the present, the benefits come with some very high costs.

Some people who deal with urban sprawl in the northeast United States make very long commutes from New Jersey to New York City. It is not uncommon for people to commute up to one hundred miles one way to get to work. No matter the form of transportation this proves to be a very long trip twice a day five days a week. Traffic is inevitable with many other people going across the George Washington Bridge, or taking major highways such as the New Jersey Turnpike into New York. According to the 2000 US Census Bureau Statistical Abstract, miles driven to work has been on a slow rise in the United states since 1969.

Info from Census Bureau:

1969 1990 1995

MILES Home to Work- 4,183 ...


... middle of paper ...


...me than others but still present for all. Urban sprawl is a phenomenon that undoubtedly comes with many costs, however benefits also exist. In terms of a cost benefit analysis, the answer to the question, “Is it really worth it?” lies in the individual.


Works Cited

Ciscel, David H. The Economics of Urban Sprawl: Inefficiency as a Core Feature of Metropolitan Growth. Journal of Economic Issue, Jun 2001, Vol. 35 Issue 2, p405, 9p

Gordon, Peter and Richardson, Harry. Critiquing Sprawls Critiques: Policy Analysis, January 24, 2000

Mckee, David and Smith, Gerald. Environmental Diseconomies of Urban Expansion. American Journal of Economics and Sociology

Sheehan, Molly O’ Merar. Cars Drive Up the Costs of URBAN SPRAWL. USA Today Magazine, 20020101, Vol. 130, Issue 2680

US Census Bureau, Statistical Abstract of the United States; 2000, p631, 632

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