growth management done - When considering whether cities...

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When considering whether cities should impose growth management planning, the first thing that must be done is to consider why any growth planning would be necessary. The best way to do this is to highlight what consequences or occurrences of growth arise that would necessitate the use of planning measures. Currently the issues that face any US city in regards to growth can be consistently traced back to the concept of sprawl and its relating factors. Sprawl is commonly defined as the horizontal movement of a city and its suburbs over rural land on the outskirts of an urban area, yet this definition only grazes the top of the problem that is sprawl. The Colorado Sprawl Action Center associates ten traits with sprawl as follows: unlimited outward expansion, low-density residential and commercial settlements, leapfrog development, fragmentation of powers over land use among many small localities, dominance of transportation by private automotive vehicle, no centralized planning or control of land use, widespread strip commercial development, great fiscal disparities among localities, segregation of types of land uses in different zones, and reliance mainly on the trickle-down or filtering process to provide housing to low-income households. 1 These traits are a part of what is basically characterized as the increased use of land for urban consumption as well as the use of more space per person. As city populations grow it is obvious that some growth will be needed, but sprawl becomes an issue for cities because lthough it is a process that is generally inevitable with growth, it usually progresses at a much faster rate than is necessary. This concept is illustrated by the fact that the percentage of land used with new growth and sprawl tends to be much higher than the growth of the population. 2 The graphs below give testament to this idea by using 1970 to 1990 Census Bureau data to show that only about half of the land areas used for sprawl in America’s ten largest 1) "Sprawl in Colorado." Colorado Sprawl Action Center . Jan. 2002. Environment Colorado Smart Growth Program. 20 Sept. 2007 < ;. 2) Rusk, David. Inside Game/Outside Game . Washington, DC: Brookings Institution P, 1999. page 68.
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urbanized areas is related to population growth while the other half is related to land per person usage. 3 Although these graphs don’t show Colorado directly, in a study conducted by Western Futures Project of the CU-Boulder Center of the American West, using a predicting model of Colorado’s growth, researchers estimate that the land used in Colorado by low density suburbs will increase by 41 percent by 2020 and another 33 percent by 2040 while urban and densely suburban growth will only reach nearly half of that amount. 4 Also, considering that Colorado has one of the nation’s highest population growth rates, without proper growth management planning, sprawl and unnecessarily expansive growth seems inevitable.
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