- Urban Sprawl beyond Growth: from a growth to a decline perspective on the costs of sprawl   click here to open paper content938 kb
by    Siedentop, Stefan & Fina, Stefan | stefan.fina@ireus.uni-stuttgart.de   click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper
Short Outline
This paper extends current research on urban sprawl to aspects of demographic change. Based on area statistics, we introduce a “shrinkage” type of sprawl for Germany. We focus on areas with population decline and describe cost-related consequences.
Previous research on the costs of urban sprawl is dominated by a growth perspective. The majority of available “cost-of-sprawl-studies” intends to show that substantial infrastructure cost savings can be achieved by increasing urban densities and locating new development near existing built-up areas. However, many European metropolitan regions are already facing population decline and a quasi surplus of urbanized areas. Moreover, the phenomenon of urban shrinkage can even be found in booming economies in North America and Eastern Asia.
From this point of view, we ask whether the problem of sprawl comes to rest with the end of urban growth. Our research is based on the argument that urban sprawl, its main physical features, and its negative outcomes on the efficiency of urban systems are not merely a by-product of urban growth. In contrast, we draw up a “shrinkage type” of sprawl and aim to assess this specific development pattern with respect to asset management and public services. Recent experience in Germany demonstrates that the decrease of population densities is strongly linked with additional costs due to infrastructure underutilization. In general, fewer residents have to pay more for oversized facilities. Moreover, additional costs can result from enforced investments to keep up system efficiency or to demolish and downsize non-efficient facilities.
Our presentation empirically characterizes the process of urban shrinkage in certain parts of Germany, based on population, employment and land use data. As a result, we define a complementary type of urban sprawl, using area statistics and GIS datasets. We map out the distribution of this type within a GIS environment and interpret the results in the context of growth and decline. Finally, we discuss potential courses of action, highlighting the much needed differentiation between cause and effect for different types of urban sprawl.
Urban shrinkage, demographic change, cost of sprawl
click here to open paper content  Click to open the full paper as pdf document
click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper  Click to send an email to the author(s) of this paper