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Stop Sprawl
1998 Sierra Club Sprawl Report: 30 Most Sprawl-Threatened Cities

Ten Most Sprawl-Threatened Small Cities
Number Four: Daytona Beach

While unplanned sprawl was in full swing in the 1980's in Daytona Beach, accelerating sprawl in recent years has pushed this growing urban area onto the list of the nation's most sprawling cities.

Between 1990 and 1996, Daytona Beach's metro area almost doubled in size, from 123 to 232 square miles. Population density decreased by almost half (43 percent), from 1,951 to 1,125 persons per square mile in the same time period. If current development trends continue, Daytona Beach's urbanized area would nearly triple to 610 square miles by the year 2020.

In an attempt to shield Daytona Beach from this kind of land use explosion, Reid Hughes, Volusia County's representative on the board of the St. Johns River Water Management District, proposed this May to establish a "green" buffer zone beyond which development would be restricted. The plan, modeled after similar plans in Portland, Ore., and Boulder, Colo., would promote more efficient development within the buffer zone while protecting precious water supplies to the West (The Orlando Sentinel).

One indication of the development problems in Daytona Beach is the fact that the city's tourism has suffered in recent years even while population and development in outlying areas continue to rise. To reverse the loss of tourism in the Main Street district, officials have proposed a $150 million redevelopment project described by some as "the beachside tourism district's salvation" (The Orlando Sentinel). As the entire region rebuilds following tragic wildfires in the summer of 1998, the city has the opportunity to plan its revitalization in a way that reduces sprawl and contributes to its economic growth and well-being.

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

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