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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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- Spring '14