Sustainable Communities and Lifestyles Urban sprawl Urban blight Moving toward sustainable communities Toward the common good
Urban Sprawl Sprawl: extension of city perimeters outward in the countryside, one development after the next, with little plan as to where the expansion is going and no notion as to where it will stop.
The Origins of Urban Sprawl Post–World War II demand for consumer goods: cheap cars and gas Housing boom with low mortgage rates Highway Trust Fund
Environmental Impacts of Urban Sprawl: Simplify and Destabilize! Photos by C. E. Adams
Impacts of Urban Sprawl: Quality of Life Higher vehicle ownership and driving mileage Greater risk of fatal accidents Lower rates of walking and lessened use of mass-transit facilities
Impacts of Urban Sprawl: Quality of Life No change in congestion delays Higher costs for municipal services Higher incidence of obesity and high blood pressure
Benefits of Urban Sprawl Lower-density residential living Larger lot sizes Larger single-family homes
Benefits of Urban Sprawl Better quality public schools Lower crime rates Better social services Greater opportunity to participate in local governments
Reining in Urban Sprawl: Smart Growth “Smart Growth”: forces communities to purposely choose to develop in more environmentally sustainable ways. Sets boundaries on urban sprawl Saves open space Develops existing urban space Creates new towns
Urban Blight Economic and ethnic segregation The vicious cycle of urban blight Economic exclusion of the inner city Urban blight in developing countries What makes cities livable?
Indicators of Urban Decay Economic and ethnic segregation Eroding tax base Loss of social services Lowered property values Higher property taxes Deterioration of central city infrastructure
Urban Blight in Developing Countries Slum communities No utility services No land ownership Crime and disease are endemic Expected to continue growing into middle of century Continually overwhelmed by influx of rural immigrants
Slum Community Needs Home security More jobs Cheap transportation Government representation (Slum Dwellers International – SDI at http://www.sdinet.org)
What Makes Cities Livable? Integrated living, working, and recreational spaces Affordable housing Provisions for pedestrian and bicycle traffic Protection of sensitive habitats