Thursday, May 28, 2009

14 Powerful Reasons for the Rise of Sprawl

According to Grant Rimbey in his excellent blog post,
The Roots of Sprawl, there are a variety of powerful reasons for the emergence of sprawl, a phenomenon that didn't exist before WWII:
  1. "Government loans for WW2 GI’s that provided mortgages aimed at new single-family suburban construction
  2. WW2 military-industrial assembly methods applied to the construction and planning of communities
  3. The favoring of simple single-use zoning over complex mixed-use zoning
  4. The Modern attitude of “out with the old, in with the new”

  5. Government subsidies for highways (road creation and widening), parking lots and gasoline

  6. The demonization of mass transit and affordable housing

  7. The ease and affordability of greenfield development versus complicated urban infill
  8. The increasing segregation of society by income and race (the abandoning of cities for the suburbs)

  9. The “back to nature” or “garden city” myth that coincided with the abandoning of cities (the popularity of the S.U.V. is rooted in this)

  10. The erosion of public confidence in the skills of the planner based on post-WW2 planning mistakes

  11. The creation of communities that were developer-led, not planner-led
  12. The favoritism of private and corporate control over citizen input for community plans

  13. The misconception that everyone in America wants to or should own a single-family suburban residence

  14. Creating sprawl is easy and cheap, and doesn’t require expensive consultants like town planners or architects"

The above quote provides numerous excellent links that are worth exploring for those concerned about how sprawl is destroying our sense of Place in America. Photo courtesy of Rob Bellinger

1 comment:

Mike Cunningham said...

That really nails it! I wonder if you meant Demon-ization of Mass Transit or Demonitization as in lack of funding?

Now what we need is 3-5 steps for individuals towards solutions.

Big area, hard to be effective solo, but What I see first is Single-Family Suburban Residence concept. Secondly the support for Urban Infill needs backing funding and legislation, including Emminent Domain on large ares of cities, with sane, proper planning concepts.

My 2 cents and 2 areas of concern, as always IMHBCO (work on it, you'll know I'm correct.)