GGRA03H3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 11: Automobile Dependency, Smart Growth, Asthma

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GGRA01 - Lecture 11: Tuesday, November 23, 2010
URBAN SPRAWL, SMART GROWTH, PATH DEPENDENCE
What is Urban Sprawl?
- dispersed development, at lower densities than existing urban areas
- development with large areas of single-use development
- automobile dependent development
- "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" (Gillham, 2002) [Leapfrog = undeveloped
patterns]
Why did this urban form develop?
- rapidly growing car ownership
- economic growth, increasing wealth
- urban problems (congestion, pollution, housing costs, racism, poor schools,
etc.)
- emergence of large-scale housing industry
- fragmented governments
- cheap land
Major Arguments Against Sprawl:
1) High Costs of Sprawl
- one of the biggest problems with sprawl
- for housing in remote locations, costs for services are all higher (but lower land
costs means housing is cheaper)
- but equally important is shift in who pays (shift in balance of private costs and
public costs)
- public costs including schools, hospitals, roads, emergency services, are much
higher
- higher social costs are not the developer's concern
- local governments get stuck with the bill
2) Car Dependence
- arge single-use areas means cars are necessary for every trip
- suburban street layouts make it difficult to walk
- no close destinations, routes are not direct
- many loops and lollipops; few sidewalks
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