Environmental Science Suburban Sprawl: Problems Term Paper

Pages: 5 (1493 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 20  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Urban Studies




A solution must be found to combat the problem that urban sprawl has spawned. One such solution is called "smart growth." This approach is one that works with "a variety of stakeholders in the design and construction industry, businesses and land developers, governments and civic leadership, system users, and planners and engineers" (Potential for $mart Growth Services and Technology Transfer in Emerging Markets, 2005)

toward the goals of:

1. Influencing users to drive less and encourage multimodal systems.

2. Maximizing the use and management of existing infrastructure prior to expansion.

3. Shifting the energy base to renewable resources and increasing vehicle efficiency.

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One such example that has been successful is that of Curitiba, Brazil. Mayor Jaime Lerner has since 1965 "incorporated economic, social and environmental considerations in its master plan for all its private business development, road infrastructure investment, local community development and landuse planning." (Potential for $mart Growth Services and Technology Transfer in Emerging Markets, 2005) The Master Plan lays out in its content the "integration of traffic management, transportation and landuse planning to achieve its goals. "Flexibility in planning for different future development scenarios was maintained and ensured was development along a network of linear travel corridors which helped to create the density required to make public transport viable and minimized traffic congestion and provided people a competitive alternative to the automobile." (Ibid, paraphrased)

The city of Curitiba has a 70% busridership.

Future Plans

According to one source the efforts to reform suburban sprawl are inclusive of the following:

1. More efficient use of land

2. Less area devoted to the movement and storage of vehicles

3. Greater transit orientation

TOPIC: Term Paper on Environmental Science Suburban Sprawl: Problems Assignment

4. Greater emphasis on local diversity of land use so that walking and cycling again is possible

5. A stronger sense of place and community by designating streets as living spaces and not merely a locus of travel.

6. Strong focal points within each community such as small town squared ringed with local shops and central parks to help foster distinct neighborhood identities and a feeling of belonging.

7. Less rigid road hierarchy which respects values other than the efficient movement of motor vehicles and makes the road system more permeable to people on foot and bicycle providing shorter trip lengths for all modes

8. A greater emphasis on generous shared open spaces and less emphasis on privatized space. (The New Urbanism: The Search for Alternatives to Urban Sprawl, 2005)


It is clear that there must be solutions found to address the problem of urban sprawl if the ecosystem is to be sustained in these areas as well as human life in a manner that is conducive to healthy living and survival. This will require a concerted effort on the part of all agencies and entities and will require that all humans living in these areas make concessions for the better good of all concerned.


Chapter 9 Can Urban Expansion Be Sustainable? Sprawl Apologists and Smart Growth in the New World 9.1. Approaching Urban Futures in Defense of Dispersal http://wwwistp.murdoch.edu.au/publications/projects/jan/pdf/ch9.pdf

Potential for $mart Growth Services and Technology Transfer in Emerging Markets Prepared by the International Institute for Energy Conservation (IIEC) September 1999 http://www.ecee.org/pubs/Transport/intro.htm

Urban Sprawl and Public Health Vol. 17 May-June 2002 http://www.cdc.gov/healthyplaces/articles/Urban%20Sprawl%20and%20Public%20Health%20-%20PHR.pdf

EEE Solutions


Dittmar, H. (1994) Defining and Managing the Metropolitan Transportation System -- ISTEA Planner's Handbook -- Surface Transportation Policy Project, Washington, D.C., 1994. http://www.ecee.org/pubs/Transport/intro.htm

Rabinovitch, J. et al. Environmental Innovation and Management in Curitiba, Brazil, United National Development Program, New York, NY 1993. http://www.ecee.org/pubs/Transport/intro.htm

Samuel R. Staley, "The Sprawling of America: In Defense of the Dynamic City," Policy Study 251, January 1999, Reason Public Policy Institute. http://www.ncpa.org/ba/ba287.html

Gilroy, Leonard C. (2005) Urban Sprawl Good for Minorities


Numbers USA -- Urban Sprawl Online available at; http://www.numbersusa.com/interests/urbansprawl.html

Swenson, Carol J. & . DockUrban, Frederick C. (2003) Design, Transportation, Environment and Urban Growth: Transit-Supportive Urban Design Impacts on Suburban Land Use and Transportation Planning. Online available at: http://www.cts.umn.edu/trg/research/reports/TRG_11.html









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