- Urban Sprawl - an issue of growing concern    click here to open paper content803 kb
by    Kaur, Guneet | guneetk@hotmail.com   click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper
Short Outline
This paper explores the reasons of urban sprawl; problems associated with it and suggest some possible measures to control the massive urban spread. The paper also discusses some policy initiatives taken by the Australian Government as a positive step to control the sprawl.

When cities grow, the surrounding land and the natural green areas are engulfed to build houses, roads, pathways, to match the needs and desires of the inhabitant population. This spread of urban areas into rural area, farmlands and forests on outer edges of a city is referred as Urban Sprawl.

The population of the world has been increasing and so is the demand for urban land.
Urban sprawl has become a universal problem, and is being faced by both developed and developing countries. In developing countries the consequences can potentially be life threatening due to issues of health and hygiene. Developed countries, are definitely in a better shape, but with the expansion of urban land day by day, engulfing the neighboring land, there is a major threat to sustainability and quality of life. The consequences can be devastating in the long run.

Reasons for Urban Sprawl
Some of the reasons associated with expansion of cities are
growing population,
rising incomes
Single use zoning
Government regulations promoting low density land use
Individual preference towards low density developments.
Affordability and desire for big houses

Problems associated with Urban Sprawl
Loss of open space, forests, valuable farmlands
Loss of small towns
Overcrowding of services and infrastructure
Greater dependence on private vehicles, cars
Increased urban pollution
Lack of essential facilities - Health, sanitation, education.
Environmental degradation - Decrease in land in water quantity and quality
Increased infrastructure costs

Remedies and Policy initiatives
Zoning and Land use controls promoting muti use
Decentralization and multi nodal cities
Infrastructure development policies and initiatives
Taxes and tolls.

Case Study
The above mentioned issues have been discussed taking the case example of Sydney which is Australia's premier global city. Initiatives like Sydney Metropolitan Area Strategy, State Environmental Policy for growth centres and other relevant examples and strategies have been discussed as initiatives of the Australian Government to control urban sprawl and provide high quality of life for inhabitants. The strategies aim to ensure that the Sydney of the future is both liveable and sustainable.

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