How Does Urban Sprawl Impact the Environment?

The Environmental Impacts of Sprawl: Emergent Themes from the Past Decade of Planning Research(26 page pdf, Bev Wilson and Arnab Chakraborty, Sustainability, Aug. 5, 2013)


Today we review a literature review of articles that examine the meaning of urban sprawl globally, its impacts on air, water, land and energy, how it relates to justice and equity and how different countries either encourage or discourage its growth. The authors point out that, although sprawl has no widely accepted definition, improvement comes when it is viewed within the context of urban sustainability rather than narrowly as a geographic metric.


English: Urban Sprawl in London, Ontario

English: Urban Sprawl in London, Ontario (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

To see Key Quotes and Links to key reports about this post, click HERE


One Response

  1. Rather than a bad case of urban sprawl, the physical expansion of China’s megacities may be viewed as a combination of ‘urban spill over’ and ‘local urban sprawl’. This paper reviews land use regulations in their institutional context and argues that conflicts in land use regulation are related to ideologies of land ownership and embedded in different planning doctrines. These hypotheses are investigated with special reference to Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong Province in southern China. The evidence suggests that entangled land use regulations for “urban” and “rural” land have imposed serious constraints on urban growth, while the contradictions of different policies and regulations in the use of rural lands for urban construction have led to intensive and unhealthy competition among stakeholders. As a result, not only have the costs of land conversion from rural to urban uses increased, but the spatial development of Guangzhou has been distorted. The implications of these failures for future policy are discussed with emphasis on the reform of the land use regulation system.

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