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The Suburban Sprawl

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The urban sprawl: History, governing characteristics and solutions of the suburban sprawl
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The suburban sprawl: History, governing characteristics and solutions of the suburban sprawl
History of the suburbs
A suburb is an area on the periphery of a city or a town with a large number of people living on it, usually consisting of single family houses. These settlements have grown to the point of being self sufficient; they have their own malls, hospitals, banks and other amenities that traditionally only found in the city. Suburbs emerged in the 1800’s because of the sharp rise of the urban population and the improvement of the transport infrastructure at the time. It was during this time in history that the sprawl occurred. Cities exploded outward. Contractors started building streets and streets of brick walled houses. An example of this is the construction of suburbs in London where for a long time. One of the earliest examples of suburbs in the United States is the brilliant Llewellyn Park in New Jersey finished in 1853. The rise in suburb settlements intensified in the post World War II period because of the need to house the war veterans and the good economic conditions at the time. Higher population densities per square mile started being witnessed with the east side of Manhattan peaking at 400,000 people per square mile.
The governing characteristics arising from the urban sprawl
The is a sprawl affects the efficiency with which the government runs the economy while ensuring good living standards are maintained across the board. There is usually no established connection between the suburban sprawl and the need for instituting community development. There is no form of centralized planning of land use in a sprawling suburb (Downs, 1999, p 1). There is also a big gap in financial disparity noticeable in such settlements giving the government one more thing to sort out. The provision of low income housing relies majorly on trickle down process. Other general characteristics of sprawl is congestion in roads, extensive absorption of open space, shortage of relatively affordable housing, pollution and inadequate infrastructure.
Solutions for Ever-Expanding suburban developments
Sprawl is the cause of both serious social and economic problems but can affect others too. The solutions to this menace are simple but would require people to make tough decisions which they may not be ready to make; The use of personal vehicles for long distances from the suburb to the town should be dropped in favor of trains and busses so as to reduce costs, traffic and the emission of greenhouse gasses. Purchasing of rehabilitated houses instead of a ready to move in house should also be considered so as to save costs.
Focus should be given in the improvement of the core area poverty neighborhoods by instituting community development programs. There should be vigorous enforcement regionally of anti-racial discrimination laws due to the high number of such hate crimes in such areas. Very few metropolitans try out these solutions.

References
Bruegmann, R. (2005) Sprawl: A compact history, University of Chicago press p 21-32

Duany, A. (2011) The Geography of Nowhere and Suburban Nation: The Rise of Sprawl and the Decline of the American Dream, a uniquely American perspective.

Downs, A. (1999) Some realities about sprawl and urban decline, The Brooklyns Institution

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