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Sprawl is a distinctive feature of American urban patterns. Sprawling occurs when a city spreads outwards to a less populated area. This is normally a rural land that encourages the use of automobiles. There have been debates on American and particularly the universal trends of sprawling. According to the article, American sprawling is associated with people being interested in low populated areas; it is due to the increasing people’s desire to own homes, higher class segregation, and the fact that there are autonomous suburban governments. Sprawling is so dominant in America, unlike in other countries such as France and Great Britain.
Sprawling in America is associated with buildings taking various patterns. Zoning is a common pattern. This is when commercial houses are separated from residential houses. There is also exclusionary zoning, where houses are built and separated according to income. According to the article, many families desire to live in areas that offer attractive goods and services; affordability of these amenities is considered as the main factor that attracts many people. The shopping malls in these areas are enclosed as well.
The local schools that offer quality education are highly attractive. A lower crime rate is a major attraction; people prefer to move to areas with low crime rates. Sprawling is also associated with the desire of accessibility; people prefer areas where retail shops are easy to access. It is a fact that out of the city, there are more parks for relaxation as well as playgrounds for sporting. The transportation network is an amenity considered by many people; there is a great preferential of areas that have less traffic jams. Since these areas that are out of town are sparsely populated, police protection is more efficient there. Response to fir is also very quick.
All businesses so as to be profitable have to be located in a strategic place. These areas are a good location for any business; the accessibility of raw materials is the reason why businesses move from the city. These areas away from the city are also an attraction to the tourists. For this reason the areas are good for businesses that interest tourists.
Sprawling has positive as well as negative effect. There are concerns that sprawling is increasing the cost of infrastructure. Besides, sprawling has caused many people to depend on automobiles, as a result the cost of oil is high and people are depending on oil so much.
This development has been associated with environment degradation. The high dependency on automobiles is a cause of air pollution, as a result diseases like lung cancer, asthma, and heart diseases are on the increase. What is more, a high increase in development is eroding the quality of water in rivers and lakes. An increase in residential houses and commercial buildings is decreasing available land for farming. Since many people move in these attractive areas, congestion is vey high. According to the article, segregation in the areas is inevitable. The community is segregated into wealthy segment and the not wealthy class. The homes in these areas are built in larger spaces, which could be occupied by other businesses. As a result taxes are low; therefore schools that are funded by these taxes decrease in quality.
To maintain a balance the wealthy community is taxed in a larger base. The personal transportation cost is very high, due to dependency on cars; short distances that require walking are accessed by cars due to the fencing of neighborhoods. There is segregation of Whites and the Blacks in these areas; this is probably due to origin of sprawling, where a particular race occupied a certain area. The dependency on cars is associated with the increase in obesity, due to less walking and cycling. The roads lack pedestrian pave walks, which a cause of many pedestrian accidents.
In an effort to address sprawling, the policies have been implemented to stop sprawling. Smart growth is a policy that has been used for the past years to curb sprawling. This is when the growth is concentrated in the urban centers, to avoid people moving in to the rural areas. The development involves provision of walking areas, bicycle riding areas and offering of a wide range of housing. Smart growth aims in expanding modes of transportation, increasing employment opportunities, and uplifting of public health.
The costs and benefits associated with smart growth are equally distributed. Smart growth is driven with the combination of architects, developers and activists. It curbs sprawling by providing better places to shop; at the same time ensuring that houses are affordable, improving space and generally a quality life. Smart policy has had its disadvantages as well. When the local government fails to implement its goals, due to lack of funds, smart policy does not work.
Regionalism is where all developments in an area are moved from a local government to a higher authority. This is important for a city as a whole in controlling all constructions. However, this is unrealistic due to the time taken to address the issues. Another policy addressing sprawling is construction of more roads; this is effective in decreasing traffic jams. However, increase of roads leads to people using more cars. This can lead to health risks of many people.