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Examine the causes of urban sprawl and assess the effectiveness of strategies to contain it (60)

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Charlie Jenkins 13TL Examine the causes of urban sprawl and assess the effectiveness of strategies to contain it (60) Urban sprawl is one of the key planning issues today. It consists of low density settlement extending beyond the boundaries of built up areas. Also it involves high dependence on private automobiles and is often the result of poorly planned or unplanned development. While urban sprawl is linked to population growth, it is also caused by falling household sizes, increased demand for low density living, lower land prices in peripheral areas and a desire to escape from cities because of crime and pollution. There are number of forms of urban sprawl that can take place, the three main patterns are low density sprawl, ribbon sprawl and leap frog development. Each type of sprawl is often caused by the same core problems, all of which resulting in consequential effects. There are numerous reasons as to why urban sprawl occurs, however a significant point when it became apparent was after World War 2. At this time people started moving from the cities to the countryside. ...read more.


One policy that can be implemented is urban growth boundaries or green belts. This aims to restrict the physical sprawl. This is illustrated by Portland Oregon in the USA where an urban growth boundary surrounds Portland and twenty three nearby small settlements. The green belt protects the attractive rural landscapes of the Willamette Valley and helps invigorate the inner city. Portland managed to accommodate a 0% growth in population by increasing the built up area by only 2 % between 1970 and 2000. However, while Portland has been successful in using this strategy so far, the city is begging to run out of land. Consequently, house prices are rising rapidly, 15.6% between 193 and 1996 compared with 1.8 % for the whole country. In order to find affordable housing people are being forced to move further away to the adjacent city of Vancouver. Another method which has been used in Minneapolis is revitalization of the city centre. This aims to attract people back to the city by providing good quality services and making them convenient and easy to use. In turn relieving pressures on suburban areas and thus decreasing urban sprawl. ...read more.


Brownfield sites have many limitations for planes and developers and are often contaminated with industrial chemicals or waste from factories and power stations. An example of a Brownfield development is Barking Reach on the banks of the River Thames in inner London. In order to make this site suitable for development of houses, offices and schools, developers had to bury overhead power cables, remove ash from three power stations, and reclaim marshland by raising the ground level. Overall, although there are many causes that result in urban sprawl there appear to be many solutions available in order to contain or even solve the issue. However, the effectiveness of these solutions is variable. For instance although in the short-term Portland, Oregon has been effective it is now having to deal with a number of consequential issues which makes the long-term effectiveness of the project to be questionable. As for Cairo, it is evident that the initial plans and ideas were sufficient but the financial support and economic stability were not there in order to make the development successful. For urban sprawl to be effectively managed or even solved a combination of suitable strategies need to be planed, implemented and contained in order for it to be sustained and therefore a success. ...read more.

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