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GGRA03H3 (139)

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Andre Sorensen

Urban sprawl, smart growth, path dependence What the sprawl debate is really about is what kind of environment and city we want to build. One way is to look at policy from the past, compare what happened with what was intended. Urban sprawl It is a form of urbanization distinguished by leapfrog patterns of development, commercial strips, low density, separated land uses, automobile dominance, and a minimum of public open space Leapfrog pattern is development of housing over undeveloped land Dispersed development, lower densities than existing urban areas Development with large areas of single-use development (ex. Only residential spaces) Automobile dependent development (congestion) Sprawl has a lot of space, but not public spaces Why did this new urban form develop? Growing car ownership Economic growth, increase in wealth Urban problems congestion, pollution, housing costs, racism, poor schools Poor public transit outside of big cities Emergence of large scale housing industry Fragmented government Cheap land When everybody does sprawl, it becomes a problem Major arguments against sprawl High cost (cost for services are more expensive, shift in who pays shift in balance of private costs and public costs, public costs (schools, roads, hospitals etc), higher social costs are not developers concern, local government get stuck with the bill) Car dependence (suburban layout make it difficult to walk, destinations are too far,
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