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Stop Sprawl
Sprawl: The Dark Side of the American Dream


1998 Sierra Club Sprawl Report
Clickable Sprawl Map
30 Most Sprawl-Threatened Cities
The Costs and Consequences of Suburban Sprawl

What is Sprawl?

Sprawl is low-density development beyond the edge of service and employment, which separates where people live from where they shop, work, recreate, and educate - thus requiring cars to move between zones.

The consequences of sprawl:

  • Traffic congestion.
  • Longer commutes that steal time from family and work.
  • Worsening air and water pollution.
  • Loss of farmland, open fields, forests and wetlands.
  • Increased flooding.
  • Raised taxes to pay for services - police and fire departments - and infrastructure - new schools, roads, water, and sewer structure.

How does sprawl hurt cities?

  • Sprawl erodes the city's tax base as people flock to the suburbs, forcing cities to raise taxes on remaining taxpayers to pay for city services.

  • Sprawl destroys downtown commerce
    by pulling shoppers from once-thriving locally owned stores and restaurants to large regional malls.

  • Sprawl increases unemployment and concentrates poverty in urban centers.

  • Sprawl undercuts property values and investment opportunities.

  • Sprawl robs cities of character as abandoned factories, boarded-up homes and decaying retail centers dominate the landscape.

Read the Report | Clickable Sprawl Map | Sprawl-Threatened Cities

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