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2 Tutorials that teach Addressing Urban Sprawl
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Addressing Urban Sprawl

Addressing Urban Sprawl

Author: Sophia Tutorial

Determine the effective measures to address urban sprawl.

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what's covered
This tutorial will cover the topic of urban sprawl and efforts being made to address it. We will discuss government efforts to mitigate urban sprawl problems through regulations and market incentives. We will also explore future opportunities to manage urban sprawl, as well as the barriers to addressing urban sprawl issues.

Our discussion breaks down as follows:

  1. Addressing Urban Sprawl: Regulations and Market Incentives
  2. Future Opportunities
  3. Challenges to Addressing Urban Sprawl

1. Addressing Urban Sprawl: Regulations and Market Incentives

There are two main areas where governments are attempting to solve urban sprawl issues, and they can vary depending on whether it is state or local government. The two areas are regulations and market incentives.

Regulation Solutions Market Incentives
Designing zoning requirements to control what kind of land can be developed in certain areas

Levying impact fees and requiring developers to fund projects for public good, particularly related to population growth

Limiting the urban growth boundary so that cities are forced to increase population density instead of sprawl

Information/education campaigns aimed at encouraging urban density rather than sprawl

Designating certain areas as green zones to protect undeveloped land is a regulation strategy
Subsidies that support density and discourage sprawl. These can be quite effective, such as providing financial incentives for repurposing existing land instead of building on undeveloped property

Tax breaks for activities or construction that support population density

Publicly funded mass transit, which can reduce the need for personal transport, thereby reducing the need for wider roads while encouraging higher population density and proximity to mass transit services

did you know
Oregon has mandated this urban growth boundary for all of its cities.

2. Future Opportunities

There are several opportunities beginning to be taken advantage of, which if fostered, can provide future solutions to urban sprawl:

  • Urban green spaces, which include leaving parks open for sitting grassy areas. These urban green spaces are increasing nationally. Currently, there are over 1 million acres of parks in the United States.
  • Efforts — both public and private — to repurpose old plots that were polluted in prior use, also called brownfields, so that they and any old buildings on the plot can be used for something else
  • Cities across the country that are trying to revitalize their city centers to encourage dense urban living through identity creation, mass transit, mixed land use, and zoning

Central Park Dubai's City Center

3. Challenges To Addressing Urban Sprawl

There are some real challenges to addressing urban sprawl. These include:

Issue Challenge
Historical Zoning Laws Prevent mixed use and urban density, which can be slow and difficult in changing
Adequate Services Providing services such as parking, grocery stores, and emergency response within dense urban settings can also be difficult
Stakeholder Disagreement In denser municipalities there are more stakeholders and groups to bring into alignment, which can cause conflict
Private Developers Financed through banks, private developers can be adamant and difficult to dissuade from facilitating urban sprawl
Agencies Those providing development permits can be difficult to control and manage for density
Communities Designing communities to provide comfortable housing within a reasonable distance to businesses can also be difficult

Today we learned about government efforts to address and mitigate urban sprawl, in the form of regulations and market incentives. We learned about future opportunities to decrease urban sprawl, and barriers to creating change that would encourage urban density.

Source: Adapted from Sophia instructor Jensen Morgan, CENTRAL PARK PD HTTP://BIT.LY/1UBAPUM DUBAI CC HTTP://BIT.LY/1CEKPPW