Articles

Urban sprawl: Is that really important?

  • Sprawl; Is urbanization that takes place in either a radial direction around a well-established city or linearly along the highways over a given period of time.

    Urbanization; is the process by which large numbers of people become permanently concentrated in relatively small areas, forming cities. Internal rural to urban migration means that people move from rural areas to urban areas. In this process the number of people living in cities increases compared with the number of people living in rural areas.

    Urban Sprawl is the outward spread of built-up areas caused by their expansion. Or "the scattering of new developments on isolated tracts, separated from other areas by vacant land.

    Urban sprawl is characterized by leapfrog land use patterns, strip commercial development along highways, and very low-density single-use developments, all of which occur over a relatively short period of time.

    Urban sprawl is often difficult to gauge because it can occur slowly over time. It is the result of urbanization. Unchecked urban sprawl may join cities into conurbations. Green belt policies are designed to prevent urban sprawl.

    Types of urban sprawl

    Sprawl is urbanization that takes place in 3 types namely cluster, linear and leapfrog direction around a well-established city or linearly along the highways over a given period of time.

    Linear are type of urban sprawl that occurred and always found along a highway or road. Cluster sprawl are found in an area of new growth occurred around existing areas of urban settlement. Leapfrog sprawl are area of new growth that is sparsely distributed type of settlement.

    Causes / drivers of urban sprawl

          i.            Cheaper land and housing costs in the suburbs as compared to urban centres has lured many to settle in  these areas.

        ii.            There has been an increase in public spending for the development of infrastructure like roads, water and electricity in the suburbs than in existing urban centres, thus adding benefits to life in urban sprawls.

      iii.            There has been an increase in commercial lending practices that favour suburban development.

      iv.            Increase in family income of an average American has raised his living standard. Owning a car and paying for gas to transit from suburb to the city is affordable for many Americans.

        v.            Sprawls are characterized by low density populations and less traffic congestion. Therefore, even in the absence of any federal policies that would encourage growth of sprawls, these canters have proliferated due to the willingness of a growing number of people to live in sprawl areas, where they find life more calm and peaceful than in the cities.

      vi.            Higher property and business taxes in the cities have pushed businesses to the suburbs where taxes are generally low.

    Consequences of urban sprawl

    Sprawl has been criticized for eliminating agricultural lands, spoiling water quality, and causing air pollution. As population increases, so does the need for new housing, schools, and transportation networks.  

    (a)     Sprawls have been criticized for increasing public costs. Some view sprawls as a venue where public money is being spent on redundant infrastructure outside the urban areas at the cost of neglecting the infrastructure in the cities that is either not utilized or underutilized.

    (b)     Populations living in urban sprawls commute to cities in their automobiles. This has resulted in heavier traffic on the roads leading to traffic congestion, increase in air pollution and automobile related accidents.

    (c)     Increasing dependence on automobiles has led the urban sprawl population to use their vehicles even for short distances. Such behaviour is believed to have led to increase in obesity and hypertension, in the population living in sprawls than those in the cities.

    (d)     Sprawls have triggered concerns over environmental issues. Houses in sprawl araes are larger than those in urban centre. This is viewed by some, as waste of cultivable land and displacement of wildlife. As large area of land is covered with impervious material, such as concrete, there is lesser percolation of rainwater to reach the groundwater.

    (e)     These are believed to cause disintegration of the social capital of America. Houses in the sprawl areas are big with large backyards that tend to separate neighbours. Hence social interactions among neighbours is much less in these regions than the cities

    (f)      Due to heavy dependence of people residing in sprawls on automobiles, city planners are compelled to spend more money on larger highways and parking spaces. This is considered as an additional burden on the state treasury as this reduces the area of taxable land.

    Thank you.

Recent Articles

  • Stereotypes: Two sides of the coin

    Posted Jun 30

    Stereotypes. They are everywhere. They cut across colour, race, gender, economic status, educational background. Everything. More often than not, they are the first things we know before we even discover who we are. Stereotypes are the identities that other people give...

  • Drug abuse in northern Nigeria: Challenges and way forward

    Posted Jun 30

    As a country that brags about its morality and takes pride in cultural and religious practices, Nigeria sure has a lot of vices to count on its fingers. Drug abuse is a leading problem and one of the most dangerous sources of destruction for the youths, especially the n...

  • Gender disparity begins at home

    Posted Jun 23

    UNICEF data shows that girls, mostly between the ages of 5-14 spend about 550 million hours of their lives on household chores, which is said to be 160 more hours than boys of the same age group. The sad thing about all this is that in almost all societies, this is cons...

  • Graphical User Interface: An overview of Java Swing interface as a GUI

    Posted Jun 22

    Graphical User Interface otherwise known as GUI (pronounced either as G.U.I or gooey) is an interface of electronic devices - computers, mobile devices, and other digital devices such as games - that uses graphical images, icons and other visual indicators to interact w...

View All

Random Articles

  • Graphical User Interface: An overview of Java Swing interface as a GUI

    Posted Jun 22

    Graphical User Interface otherwise known as GUI (pronounced either as G.U.I or gooey) is an interface of electronic devices - computers, mobile devices, and other digital devices such as games - that uses graphical images, icons and other visual indicators to interact w...

  • Seven key techniques to facilitate learning

    Posted June 23, 2017

    Learning does not have to be, and it isn't, a tug of war. It is fun! Or what can be more fun than getting to know new things which previously you know nothing about? More so, learning comes with numerous advantages:  It makes one knowledgeable and skillful. Lea...

  • Take immediate action

    Posted October 19, 2016

    Having just failed at something, it’s important that you don’t get down on yourself by dwelling mindlessly at the guilt or disappointment you are now feeling as a result of this outcome. The best way to take your mind off the failure is to immediately take a...

  • For parents: How to monitor and ensure your kids’ safety on the Internet

    Posted November 13, 2017

    It cannot be overemphasised; the Internet is an essential resource for kids. There are countless useful activities kids can do on the Internet: acquire knowledge/skills, play educative and interactive games, communicate with the parents, teachers, and friends, etc....

View All