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Suburban Sprawl: A Technological Problem?. Controversies Over Suburban Growth Is all growth good? Environmental, infrastructure, racism, urban ills, economics,

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Presentation on theme: "Suburban Sprawl: A Technological Problem?. Controversies Over Suburban Growth Is all growth good? Environmental, infrastructure, racism, urban ills, economics,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Suburban Sprawl: A Technological Problem?

2 Controversies Over Suburban Growth Is all growth good? Environmental, infrastructure, racism, urban ills, economics, land use Limiting growth Zoning, green boundaries, population caps Social values Planned development Public versus private good Shrinking farm lands/growing populations

3 LA: Poster Child for Sprawl

4 Presentation Outline Key terms New crossroads of fringe communities Impacts of suburban growth Sprawl issues Solutions for managing growth

5 Key Terms Fringe community: a neighborhood that exists outside of the city and has fields and forests surrounding it. Suburbia: collective group of communities that exist on the edge of a large city.

6 Key Terms Sprawl: the development of rural land for residential use. Anti-sprawl: a view supported by individuals who object to continued spreading at the edge of cities.

7 Why Have Suburbs Become so Popular? Wide open spaces The American Dream Neighboring fields and forests Illusion of semi-rural life Farmettes Suburbs is where builders build homes Inner-city flight Search for the Good Life

8 Suburban Trends Technologically dependant on city Dependant on public investment in roads/schools Separated by affluence/class distinction More exclusive developments Earthen barriers Privacy fences Gated/fenced communities (Rosemont) The allusion of a rural lifestyle without the discomforts Population growth moving to the suburbs Metropolitan areas see suburban development as progress

9 The Problem in the Burbs Loss of open space, traffic congestion, crowded schools and air pollution from auto emissions are symptoms of the growing national disease known as urban sprawl.

10 Impacts of Suburban Growth More people and less farm land Large lots increase home costs Pressure on school systems Need for new infrastructure Environmental damage Ecological damage Wildlife damage Or, extinction Rising property taxes

11 Impacts of Suburban Growth (cont.) Strain on cities Strain on nature (i.e., water) Greater traffic congestion Loss of open space Loss of small town ambiance Bringing crime to small towns Lots of grass and no place to play Increased need for cars More auto pollution

12 Should community residents absorb growth or put up barriers to new development?

13 Statistics ( ) 30,000 square miles (19 million acres) of rural lands became urban Urban density decreased by 23% Costs the city core U.S. population increased by 22% Number miles driven increased by 98% Number cars/trucks increased by 20 million Miles driven growing 8 times faster than pop.

14 Problem: Construction Runoff

15 Problem: Automobiles After WWII urban planning separated shopping, homes, businesses, work/home, recreation areas, industrial areas. Making people dependant on cars

16 The Geography of Nowhere (Kunstler) Kunstler traces the development of our modern "car culture" to the birth of the suburbs as a pastoral escape from the tenaments and factories of early 20th century cities. The industrial age brought about many smelly, noisy factories, often built in the heart of the city. Small suburban communities--serviced primarily by train--were green and quiet escapes from the dirty and overcrowded cities. Roads in these communities were narrow, and mostly served to get people and goods to and from the railroad station on the edge of town.

17 Homes for Cars To illustrate how different things are now, imagine if we had to run train tracks to every single building in town, and imagine storing railroad cars in front of all the houses in town. We've done just that with our cars.

18 How Did the Government Contribute? Major government policies helped bring about our dependence on cars. During the Great Depression, the government sought to spur economic growth by investing in new highways. Created immediate jobs during their construction Created secondary economic boost by promoting the sale of new cars. Caused demise of railroads and other public transportation. We can see the results today--cars are everywhere, but travel by train is almost unthinkable, and other public transportation systems are expensive by comparison and plagued with problems.

19 Problems-Solutions and More Problems Guaranteed loans for new homes also contributed to suburban growth Again, these loans spurred the economy. Increased demand for new home construction Resulting in construction jobs and demands for raw materials. However, such programs subsidized new building at the expense of existing homes and buildings. With no money to repair and upgrade older homes, downtowns struggled to survive. At the same time, more and more people moved to artificially- in-expensive new homes on the outskirts of town.

20 Dependence on Cars The combination of new roads, new cars and new home construction led to an increasing dependence on automobiles. New suburban developments often ignore other modes of transport to provide for the safe movement of cars. In fact, modern roads are designed primarily for the safety and comfort of high-speed motor traffic. Pedestrian traffic is considered a nuisance and danger to the safe and efficient movement of cars.

21 Phoenix: A Case Study Overwhelming Mother Nature A fragile water supply Overwhelming needs for infrastructure development Schools, roads, public services Pollution/unclean air days Animal encounters Congestion

22 Some Argue that Suburbs Arent the Problem U.S. experiences more housing development during Actually housing utilizes a small part of overall land use in U.S. Less than 5% of the nation is developed ¾ of the population live on 3.5% of land Only ¼ of farmland loss since 1945 is due to the development of suburbs

23 Suburbs Arent the Problem Car usage is the problem A mobile society Most suburb development costs are passed on to home buyers Suburbs arent responsible for crumbling cities People left cities because they were crumbling

24 Management of Growth Growth (urban) boundaries Have not slowed growth Managed growth 19 States manage development Green belts Mass transit development Protection and preservation of farmland, forestland, and natural areas Educating the public about growth management

25 Minimizing Sprawl Principles that can help minimize sprawl and encourage smarter growth. Open Space Protection: Sprawl is carving up our open spaces, wildlife habitat, wetlands and farm land. Land Use Planning: Sound planning can help communities grow efficiently by encouraging development where infrastructure (roads, schools and water treatment facilities) already exists. This type of planning helps keep city centers alive and established communities vital. Portland

26 Minimizing Sprawl Principles that can help minimize sprawl and encourage smarter growth (cont.). Transportation Planning: Sprawl spreads out everything, making trips longer and driving mandatory. The average American driver spends 443 hours every year in his/her car. That's 55 eight-hour work days, or 11 weeks of work! Community Revitalization: States must invest in their downtowns and inner suburbs. Some state decision-makers are starting to understand that this is part of the equation.

27 Typical Suburban Development

28 High Density Suburban Development

29 Mixed Use Development

30 Pedestrian Friendly Development

31 Suburban Decay! What we want versus what we buy Suburbs are 2/3 grass and children have no place to play except streets The cycle from birth to pulling down has shortened Many suggest the village 5-6 units per acre (versus 1-2) Multiple types of homes (detached, row houses, apartments, flats above garages, shops at the center Seaside Florida, Celebration, Florida Traditionallittle town America

32 Ways to Fix the Suburbs Give up the big lawns Bring back the corner store Make streets narrow (suburbs are for cars/not people) Drop the Cul-de-sac Draw boundaries for growth Hide the garage Mix housing types Plant trees curbside

33 Ways to Fix the Suburbs Plan for mass transit Make town or village centers Shrink parking lots Link work to the home Turn down the lights Think green

34 The Start of a New Trend The idea that urban living is a second-best choice is not one that strikes a chord with growing numbers of people under age 40. Nor any longer with many of those much older for whom the bright lights (and public transport) of cities are so attractive. With so much happening downtown, who wants to live in the sticks?


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