What is Urban Sprawl: Concepts and Perceptions Michael Batty & Elena Besussi and Nancy Chin University College London http://www.casa.ucl.ac.uk/scatter/. Outline of the Talk Urban Sprawl and Urban Growth: An Age-Old Phenomenon
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What is Urban Sprawl:
Concepts and Perceptions
Michael Batty &
Elena Besussi and Nancy Chin
University College London
Outline of the Talk
Critics of suburbia date from William Cobbett (1762-1835), author of Rural Rides. As early as the 1820s he declared, riding west from London, that “all Middlesex is ugly”, a sprawl of “showy, tea-garden-like houses”.
“Need I speak to you of the wretched suburbs that sprawl all round our fairest and most ancient cities?” William Morris, Art Under Plutocracy, date unknown, between 1870 and 1896
William Holly Whyte: 1959: The Exploding Metropolis, …….
2. The Forces at Work
You can see both these forces at work spatially and historically in the growth of large cities such as Greater London (below)
These pictures reveal various types of sprawl
3. Types of Urban Sprawl?
But in contrast
First look at development in terms of patterns but then in terms of actual pictures of form
From Galster, G. (2001)
Main centre of economic activity surrounding by population
Concentric zone, sector models
Sprawl is contrasted to this ideal form
Clustering of population and economic activities around several centres
Some pictures ………
Rates of Growth have been very rapid during the last 50 years
This is taken from Mike Davies’s book Ecology of Fear
It is an advert from the LA Times in 1948 showing the typical sprawl of the 1930s and 1940s in Southern California
Below is more modern sprawl – larger lots
North American Residential rather than mixed use sprawl
Different style of sprawl in North East Italy – Venice Region
Why Should we Examine Sprawl ?
Major perceived costs are infrastructure and operating costs; commuting time, congestion and household spending on transport; lack of public transport; loss of agricultural land; loss of environmentally fragile lands.
Two main viewpoints, economic and planning, on whether sprawl is efficient or not
3. Equity : sprawl creates a concentration of non-white residents in the inner cities and removes tax funding from the inner cities to the suburbs
4. Environmental: low density cities use more energy
The Key Elements of Urban Sprawl
4. Impacts and Costs of of Sprawl
The economic sustainability of the dispersed city model must be addressed at two different scales:
Much of the material presented is from our review in work package 1 and from
Transportation Research Board, National Research Council (1998), The Costs of Sprawl – Revisited, National Academy Press, Washington, D.C.
The economic sector
Negative and positive
Building and land-use regulation
Diversification and fragmentation of household’s typologies
Restructuring and relocation of industrial activities
Reduced access to services in urban agglomerations
Location of business, industrial or commercial centres
Growth of the service and business activities and decline or restructuring of agriculture
Increasing pollution and criminality in urban centres
Increase of incomes
Diversification of life-styles and work-styles
Increasing land values in central areas
Investments and realization of public transport infrastructures and services
New ideological and cultural trends
Lack of open and green spaces in urban centres
Regeneration plans in the central areas
Reduced travel times and travel costs from urban centres to peripheral areas (and vice versa)
Increased accessibility of peripheral areas
From our surveys in work package 2, we have derived various causes of sprawl from the responses based on our six cities. These can be summarised as
5. The SCATTER Project: Sprawl in Europe
Bristol Brussels Helsinki
Milan Rennes Stuttgart
Conclusions are Questions ?