News about renewable energy and electric vehicles

Urban Sprawl – Causes and Effects

Urban Sprawl in the U.S.

Urban sprawl affects the environment due to the migration of the people from very crowded towns and cities to the outskirts of the city or in rural areas.

Urban Sprawl Definition

Moving your family from a crowded city to the outskirts will be beneficial for you and your family due to the fact that the air is cleaner and the area is quieter than the city, but the birds, the animals, the plants and the trees living in this habitat will suffer due to the fact that you’ve invaded their territory and now you are the main polluter in the area.

Urban sprawl can be found in many towns and cities all over the planet, but is more pronounced in the large and crowded towns because people desperately try to move to the outskirts of the town because the price is lower there, the air is cleaner and the entire area is less noisy and less stressful.

When you decide to move to the outskirts of the city without being affected by the high prices in the city you can say that you’ve sacrificed the environment for your own good, and you don’t care that some birds and animals will be affected by losing their natural habitat.

Urban sprawl creates another issue today, besides being a movement that benefits the people, but affects the environment, the outskirts of the city are now becoming crowded areas because many people have decided to follow the others and move to less expensive areas of the town where the air is cleaner and you can live in full nature (surrounded by birds and cute animals, well, not bears).

Causes of Urban Sprawl

There are many reasons why urban sprawl is still trendy, many of them being created by the fact that moving to the limits of the city is cheaper and healthier.

1. Lower prices for land and real estate

If your budget is not big enough to ensure you a place in the city or in a certain area of the city (maybe an exclusive area), you can always find a place on the outskirts of the city where the rates are lower and the air is cleaner (less people around).

In some cities, the center cannot be accessed by regular people, mostly due to the insane prices asked for real estate (an maybe even high taxes specific to that area of the city).

2. Govermental Investments Made in Infrastructure

In the developed countries, the local government is always ensuring decent life conditions for all its citizens, even for those living in the outskirts of the city.

In these peripheral areas of the city the new inhabitants will find clean roads and electricity.

In some areas natural gas is not available at the outskirts of the city, but electricity and water is an option, so anyone can live a happy life there.

3. The Lack of Urban Planning

In many countries, the peripheral areas of the cities suffer for the lack of interest from the local city hall.

There are cases in which, after a decade of living there, some people will find that the city hall has decided only now that the area needs an urban plan.

In such cases, some homeowners need to give up a small part of their land for road construction.

They already have roads and electricity there, but today, the city hall finally found that they exist there, and wants to improve the place by creating an infrastructure of roads and bringing in the missing utilities in the area.

Such actions made by the city halls will keep people on the outskirts of the cities because they now have the same living conditions like in the city, but they pay lower taxes and live in a healthier environment.

4. Increases The Living Standard

Moving to the limits of the city where the air is clean and the place is very quiet (nothing happens there) improves the living standards of the people.

By living in a clean environment you will become stronger (due to the work done in the garden and in your own yard) and you will become a healthier person.

Living there you are free to produce your own energy (and pay less on energy bills) you can grow your own vegetables and fruits, and you can eat a healthier food.

5. Lower Taxes for Land

Living in the outskirts of the city is much cheaper in terms of taxes than living in the center of the city or close to the center.

Usually, every land located in the outskirts of the city will have lower taxes than a land located closer to the center.

Every city hall divides the land by the category and every land located at the outskirts of the city will have lower taxes due to its distance from the center of the city, the higher the distance, the lower the taxes.

Living in the countryside is even cheaper.

6. Lower Taxes For Your Home

If you pay lower taxes for a land located in the outskirts of the city, you will also pay lower taxes for your house.

This way, living at the limits of the city becomes not only healthy, but also affordable for a larger number of people.

7. A Growing Population

When the number of people in the city grows beyond the capacity of the city, urban sprawl will appear right away as a consequence of the increased population.

The center of such a city is always crowded, and the growing number of new people moving in the city will increase the urban sprawl up to a level when even the outskirts of the city will become heavily populated.

This way, the city will get extended over its limits and will force the newcomers to move in even farther areas of the city.

Effects of Urban Sprawl

Let’s see what are the effects on the environment related to urban sprawl.

1. Can Affect the Environment Located at the Outskirts of the City

If people move to the outskirts of the city due to the fact that the city is crowded, the environment will feel right away the presence of the newcomers.

People use cars, they burn things, they produce noise, so air pollution and sound pollution will appear in these natural areas along with the people.

Birds and animals that lived in that habitat before will need to move even deeper into the wild to avoid the interaction with the new people.

2. Increased Family Expenses

Moving to the limits of the city might be cheaper in terms of taxes, but the monthly expenses per family will increase due to the fact that the cars used by the family will do more miles to reach the center and the shopping areas of the city.

More time will be spent on roads, so less free time for the family.

3. Can Cause Health Issues to Some People

Living on the outskirts of the city in a new and quiet area where the air is stronger and cleaner can be overwhelming for some of us, so we can sleep more hours each day.

Using the car for a longer period of time due to the fact that the center of the city and the shopping areas are now even farther located from you, will make you consume less calories per day, and can turn you into a fat person.

That is the reason why living at the limits of the city is a bless for hardworking people.

Working in the yard or in the garden in that clean environment will keep you in a very good shape.

4. Decreased Social Activity

Living at the limits of the city where the environment is pretty wild and there is almost no neighbor around you can affect your social life.

If your work is in the city you are somehow saved because you have a community to interact with.

For people working at home is much harder without a good team of friends that visits them often.

Try to visit weekly a gym located in the city, don’t stay at home if you live with no neighbors around, you can remain social by finding friends at a local gym.

5. Much Colder Winters

Living at the limits of the city pretty far away from the others is like living in the open field, and because there are no obstacles to stop the wind (large trees, large buildings, neighboring homes, etc.) the temperatures will be colder compared to those measured in the city.

Being much colder outside, you will pay more on energy bills, so living away from others on the outskirts of the city can be much harder for you and your wallet (but this is only during the very cold winters).


Urban sprawl is a process that can be seen all over the planet because the number of people in towns increases year after year and becomes harder to live (expensive) close to the center or close to the shopping areas of the town.

Moving to the limits of the city is always cheaper and healthier, but the environment (animals and birds) will always be affected by the presence of the newcomers.

However, if the newcomers would be civilized people, the environment would be less affected.

Article written by:

I write about the renewable energy sector, electric cars and climate change issues. I love nature and good food, so I travel all over the world to see new places and meet new people. Magda Savin

Leave a Reply

© 2012 - 2024 -