Smart Growth Initiative in the Face of NJ Landscape Change Essay

Smart Growth Initiative in the Face of NJ Landscape Change Essay

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Smart Growth Initiative in the Face of NJ Landscape Change


The face of the American landscape has undergone a period of fantastic change in recent decades. With an expanding population and innumerable opportunities for economic and physical growth, urban centers and sprawling suburbs have pushed farther and farther into outlying areas causing pressures and development on previously untouched, natural lands. New Jersey has become, in many ways, the focus in dealing with issues of sprawl and development within its relatively small space. The most densely populated state in the nation, New Jersey often acts as a predecessor in both having and dealing with issues of environmental concern and/or damage. Within the past ten years, the issue of urban/suburban "sprawl" has become an issue of much concern among professional and private citizens alike. Characterized by unplanned and unchecked growth outward from urban core areas, sprawl becomes such a concern as it has reshaped the face of the American environmental landscape by fragmenting wild habitats, overutilizing existing water resources, and building mile after mile of "McMansion" homes on very large tracts of land. The construction of this suburban landscape does not, however, come without a cost to the surrounding environment. To build homes with large areas of fenced in property, open space and natural areas must be tapped utilized to feed the strong market. While some would say that it is not the market fueling the various associations of homebuilders but instead the reverse reaction, neither this, nor the other is of significant concern when attempting to address the physical impacts that this sprawling "suburban-side" has on natural habitats.

In the National Associatio...


... middle of paper ...


...opment that present citizens, public and private alike, can help to shape and manage sprawl and growth constructively to help preserve much of the remaining beauty and natural resources that this state affords.


Referenced Data


"1997 Natural Resources Inventory" Natural Resources Conservation Service, United States Department of Agriculture. http://www.nhq.nrcs.usda.gov/land/index/nri97maps.html

Hasse, John & Lathrop, Richard. "New Jersey Landscape Change Research" Center for Remote Sensing and Spatial Analysis. http://www.crssa.rutgers.edu/projects/lc

"Land Use/Land Cover Data for 1986-1995" New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. Center for Remote Sensing and Spatial Analysis Database

"Smart Growth Report: Building Better Places to Live, Work, and Play" National Association of Home Builders. http://www.nahb.com/main_features/smart.pdf

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