The Impact of Urban Sprawl on Local Economies
Urban sprawl is defined as the expansion of human populations outward from the original city center, often in the form of low-density residential development and an accompanying increase in automobile use (Frey & Speare, 2019). The map above provides a visual representation of this phenomenon, showing how Houston, Texas has become increasingly more sprawling over the last four decades. The spread of urban development into formerly rural areas has had a wide range of social and economic consequences for the affected communities. At the local level, the expansion of sprawling, low-density development has been associated with a decrease in the availability of affordable housing, as well as a rise in traffic congestion, air pollution, and other environmental hazards (Frey & Speare, 2019). These issues can have a significant economic impact on the surrounding areas, making it more difficult for low-income and working-class families to find housing they can afford. Additionally, the construction of new roads and highways to accommodate the increased population can be a costly expense for local governments, as well as a burden on local taxpayers. Furthermore, the proliferation of suburban development can have a negative impact on the local economy. As the population shifts away from the city center and into more… Cont…
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