5 Good Reasons

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Five good reasons to stop the PPU plan for Urban Sprawl.
Source: Springer.Com
From: Analysis of Urban Growth and Sprawl from Remote Sensing Data, Bhatta, Basudeb

1. Inflated Infrastructure and Public Service Costs
2. Energy Inefficiency
3. Disparity in Wealth
4. Impacts on Wildlife and Ecosystem
5. Loss of Farmland

1. Inflated Infrastructure and Public Service Costs

Sprawl is usually accepted as being inordinately costly to its occupants and to society (Harvey and Clark 1965). Sprawl is blamed due to its environmental cost and economic cost (Buiton 1994). Cities have experienced an increase in demand for public services and for the maintenance and improvement of urban infrastructures (Barnes et al. 2001) such as fire-service stations, police stations, schools, hospitals, roads, water mains, and sewers in the countryside. Sprawl requires more infrastructures, since it takes more roads, pipes, cables and wires to service these low-density areas compared to more compact developments with the same number of households. Other services such as waste and recyclables collection, mail delivery and street cleaning are more costly in low-density developments, while public transit is impractical because the rider density needed to support a transit service is not there.

2. Energy Inefficiency

Higher densities mean shorter trips but more congestion. Newman and Kenworthy (1988) find that the former effect overwhelms the latter. Even though vehicles are not as fuel-efficient in dense areas owing to traffic congestion, fuel consumption per capita is still substantially less in dense areas because people drive so much less. Urban sprawl causes more travel from the suburbia to the central city and thus more fuel consumption. Furthermore, it also causes traffic congestion. More cars on the roads driving greater distances are a recipe for traffic gridlock resulting in more fuel consumption.

3. Disparity in Wealth

There is marked spatial disparity in wealth between cities and suburbs; and sprawled land development patterns make establishing and using mass transit systems difficult
(Benfield et al. 1999; Kunstler 1993; Mitchell 2001; Stoel 1999). Sprawl is also implicated in a host of economic and social issues related to the deterioration of urban communities and the quality of life in suburbia (Wilson et al. 2003).

4. Impacts on Wildlife and Ecosystem

In areas where sprawl is not controlled, the concentration of human presence in residential and industrial settings may lead to an alteration of ecosystems patterns and processes (Grimm et al. 2000). Development associated with sprawl not only decreases the amount of forest area (Macie and Moll 1989; MacDonald and Rudel 2005), farmland (Harvey and Clark 1965), woodland (Hedblom and Soderstrom 2008), and open space but also breaks up what is left into small chunks that disrupt ecosystems and fragment habitats (Lassila 1999; McArthur and Wilson 1967; O’Connor et al. 1990). The reach of urban sprawl into rural natural areas such as woodlands and wetlands ranks as one of the primary forms of wildlife habitat loss. Roads, power lines, subdivisions and pipelines often cut through natural areas, thereby fragmenting wildlife habitat and altering wildlife movement patterns. The fragmentation of a large forest into smaller patches disrupts ecological processes and reduces the availability of habitat for some species. Some forest fragments are too small to maintain viable breeding populations of certain wildlife.

5. Loss of Farmland

Urbanisation generally, and sprawl in particular, contribute to loss of farmlands and open spaces (Berry and Plaut 1978; Fischel 1982; Nelson 1990; Zhang et al. 2007). Urban growth, only in the United States, is predicted to consume 7 million acres of farmland, 7 million acres of environmentally sensitive land, and 5 million acres of
other lands during the period 2000–2025 (Burchell et al. 2005). This case is enough to visualise the world scenario. Provincial tax and land-use policies combine to create financial pressures that
propel farmers to sell land to speculators. Low prices of farm commodity in global markets often mean it is far more profitable in the long term for farmers to sell their land than to continue farming it. In addition, thousands of relatively small parcels of farmland are being severed off to create rural residential development. Collectively, these small lots contribute to the loss of hundreds of hectares of productive agricultural land per year.