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Economists edward glaeser and matthew kahn 2003 have

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Unformatted text preview: ulated areas often incur new public expenses for infrastructure improvements without regard to a regional plan or pooled resources. A regional plan would anticipate the growth of new areas and gradually execute the necessary planning initiatives to create a cohesive community. Rapid Population Growth The Sierra Club notes that although population growth is not the only cause of urban sprawl, it is a major factor. Rapid population growth is a particularly large contributor to urban sprawl in the Western and Southern regions of the United States. A sharp increase in residents beyond the capacity of nearby urban centers necessitates the creation of new communities. As the regional population continues to increase, communities begin to spread farther and farther away from city centers. Subsidized Infrastructure Improvements One condition that encourages urban sprawl, according to Towson University Center for Geographic Information Sciences, occurs when municipalities subsidize the cost of infrastructure such as roads and sewers to un- or under-developed areas. Such an action incentivizes the creation of communities outside of city centers without requiring comprehensive plans or suggesting alternative development options. Consumer Preferences One cause of urban sprawl that is difficult to quantify is preference. Useful Community Development, a site dedicated to progressive urban planning, cites the desire for larger homes, more bedrooms and bigger yards as one of the causes of urban sprawl. Some people simply prefer more space or more home square footage than what is affordable or available in more crowded city centers. 24 | P a g e High Speed Rail Affirmative BDL Answer to: Urban Sprawl Turn [____] [____] Sprawl is increasing now – the Aff will have little effect Mark Miller, analyst at the National Center for Policy Analysis, 2003 (October 02, 2003, No. 459, http://www.ncpa.org/pub/ba459/) Any public policy that attempts to decrease sprawl must contend with the fact that approximately 75 percent of Americans prefer to live in sprawling communities rather than dense, urban areas, according to polling data released by the Competitive Enterprise Institute. Thus land-use restrictions primarily reflect the preferences of urban planners rather than consumers. Furthermore, antisprawl policies seldom take into account the extent to which government policies have exacerbated the problems created by development and the failure of previous attempts to limit growth. W hile many factors spur Americans' shift from urban to suburban living, the main force behind this transition is our increasing wealth. This has raised living standards and allowed widespread automobile ownership. Economists Edward Glaeser and Matthew Kahn (2003) have shown that even in the absence of any government policies that encourage sprawl, low-density suburban communities still would proliferate because many people prefer living in areas with less traffic congestion, larger lot sizes and cheaper housing costs. Since the automobile has made transportation to and from urban centers easy and inexpen...
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