Hi to everyone reading these lines,
Well, I’d like to hear your opinion about “urban sprawl thing”… Actually, this is a theme of my project. I think theme itself is quite interesting but unfortunately I have met some “problems” already. I need to find ("invent") methodology to approve or disapprove “urban sprawl” process in Slovenia. Anyone who has already visited my country knows that even our capital (the biggest town of Slovenia with less than 300.000 inhabitants) is small in comparison to other cities world wide so talking about “urban sprawl” here can be huge nonsense... Anyway, I have to write this project and maybe someone on TP has good suggestion or also works (worked) on familiar project… I’ve tried to get as much literature as possible in our libraries but I didn’t have a lot of luck. I’ve also searched on web – found just examples of American cities presented on few maps in different periods and little explanation beside but none teoretical & professional issues.
Thanks for your help, opinions and suggestions in advance.
My own fair city, Glasgow, suffered severe overcrowding and poverty (still does, to some extent). The solution was to create purpose-built suburbs, such as Cumbernauld and East Kilbride, which today are thriving towns. The population of Glasgow has fallen significantly in the last fifty years as most of the suburbs are outwith Glasgow City boundaries. Housing is better, health is better (even though Scotland's health is pretty appalling) - perhaps these examples could help.
The solution was to create purpose-built suburbs, such as Cumbernauld and East Kilbride, which today are thriving towns.
Actually, that's not technically correct. Cumbernauld and East Kilbride [along with Glenrothes, Livingstone and Irvine] are Scottish New Towns, and were not in any way designed to be suburbs. Admittedly they fulfil approximately the same role, but they are two different things. And they aren't actually particuarly relevant to Urban Sprawl either (with regard to Glasgow), although in the future that may change.
Ursus - What do you actually want to know/ask?
Where I live (in Alberta, Canada) everyone wants a 3000 sq/ft home with a large yard. Fenced in a gated community. The only way to do that is cover hundreds of acres of farmland per year.
Down with urbansprawl and up with 40 story apartments! (but then where would everyone park their Hummers and GMC trucks... hmm.. a problem. I guess 40 story parkades would work.
I think I have digresed.. what are we talking about?
Hey! Sorry if I wasn't clear enough... I'd like to know if "urban sprawl" can be measured somehow and which statistical data should I use as reliable to approve or disapprove this process in Slovenia.
Maybe we could have a short "urban sprawl" poll...
1. What do you think "urban sprawl" is (and please write an argument why do you think so)?
A) development of cities
B) spreading low density populated areas in suburb
C) increased paved areas
D) commercial development along highways
E) something else
2. Is "urban sprawl" just A) negative or maybe also B) positive?
3. Brendan gave me one more idea... Why has this process started at first place? Because of:
A) higher standard
B) mass fulfiling dreams (house with large garden and pool)
C) having better (healthier) life conditions
D) not enough strong laws to prevent built up of agricultural areas
E) something else
1= E, something else. Urban sprawl is making a city a nice and comfortable place to be for its inhabitants and more to tourists. More pubs and a lot of festivals. The pubs must be fuller then full, all of them. The more people the better. You atract that by getting a few high quality pubs. But also pleasent parks for a strawl and hanging around. All the things that the inhabitants want for the city to get more attractive.
2= B positive. Urban sprawl has to lead to comfortable living in a city. It is in the inhabitants favour. That means good places to go out for dancing, parks for sport, many shops in direct neighboorhood. It just makes the city fresh, young and goodlooking...
3= A, that must be a massfulfilling dream. People always want to have it better. Urban sprawl will improve living conditions. That is in the favour of everyone.....
[ Edit: Edited on Jan 26, 2007, at 1:56 PM by wouterrr ]
Ooohhh, interesting set of parameters (or variables)...
1) F - all of the above. (At Least here in the US.)
(A) A city works within certain physical constraints, but as they develop, they must incorporate more land mass. The greater the population and it's demands, the larger an urban area becomes. Once the "city limits" have been reached, the suburban limits begin. (See #2)
(B) "Urban sprawl" becomes "suburban sprawl" because most cities literally run out of room before they hit another populated area which has incorporated itself. A good example of this US-sized) is Chicago, Rockford (Illinois) and Milwaukee (Wisconsin). Urban (suburban) sprawl has increased drastically in the past 30 years and all three cities will be "connected" by housing projects and industry within the next 10 years.
(C) To keep up with the movement of people, the pavement of roads becomes a necessary. With the increase of paved roads comes the additional increase in people. It's almost a "Catch 22" situation.
(D) Due to zoning laws, industrial development can not grow in residential areas and needs to move further away from urban/suburban areas. Industry moves to more rural areas for the space it can provide. Along with that miovement comes the development of residential areas. Basically, people working in those industries need to be close to work and move to the new housing development designed just for them. Thus, a new "suburb" is created.
(E) People within a densely populated area will find the need to move to a more rural area to get away from the "hussle and bustle" of the city. As they move farther away, businesses and more people follow. There is a cycle though... As families grow and the children move away, those living in the suburban areas tend to move to more urban areas to be closer to cultural things and can downsize their living space. The children, on the other hand, continue to move farther out from the city as their famiy grows.
2) Both - urban sprawl detracts from the closeness of an original neighborhood, but also builds a new one. While an old neighborhood suffers, another blooms.
(A) Not necessarily - higher standards of living do not dictate urban sprawl per se. But, if you look at more opportunity for employment as industry moves away, then maybe.
(B) Yes - again, limited space within the confines of city limits.
(C) Good reasoning, but usually not the case as most urban sprawl also includes building housing developments along massive eletrical grids and on land previously used for agriculture. EMFs and herbicides/pesticides are are not healthy. It can take years for certain chemicals to be flushed from the top soil.
(D) Not sure what that means - agriculture was present long before urban areas were developed in most areas. Laws preventing agriculture build-up? The biggest problem here is agriculture giving way to housing and industry.
(E) Yup - but hard pressed to think of something good at the moment though...
1. What do you think "urban sprawl" is?
I am way in the other direction of wouterrr on this one, Urban sprawl is keeping population density down. Everyone wants to live in their own house with their own two car garage and their 2.3 children. Urban sprawl is building "out" when we should be building "up".
Up doesn't even need to be that high. By having 3-4 story apartment complex you increase density by great margins compared to single family homes.
2. Is "urban sprawl" negative or positive?
Negative, hands down. I'm not seeing any positives. (Sub)Urban sprawl does not create better living conditions, doesn't create more entertainment, etc.
Look at a downtown core of say, New York. You have millions of people in small area - they all walk where they need to go (or take trains/cabs). There are theatres, bars, operas, culture. The reason it works is because you have enough people in the area to support a huge array of entertainments.
In the case of a suburb, you have your little strip mall, with a local dive and a cineplex or something. There is not enough of a population, let alone a diverse one, to warrent a healthy mix of entertainment. Speaking of health most people that live in the 'burbs have to drive into town... and drive a lot. They do very little walking and have adverse health effects.
3. Why has this process started at first place?
I think it's like I mentioned in my post above, it's the desire to isolate oneself. To have your own of everything.
1. A combination of A, B, D and E
2. It can be entirely A or entirely B, but is generally both A and B, depending upon your point of reference
3. A combination of all of A-E. And it's different in different continents, countries, cities, and sometimes even within the same city.