Urban Sprawl Essay Research Paper Urban Sprawl — страница 3
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because all Americans benefit from effectively functioning urban centers and the low wage workers living in them. Functionalists would argue that the segregation of the poor from the affluent eliminates the ability to exploit low wage service industry labor. Thus, driving up prices for services such as housekeeping, lawn maintenance, and other functions served by the poor. Third, from a Marxist perspective, it is in the best interest of the middle and upper strata of society to ensure that poor urban dwellers have an adequate standard of living to prevent social disruption or in other words riots. Those who have the means to leave flee the city for suburbia. The advent of the automobile facilitates sub urbanization and sprawl is born. One after the other rural areas fall victim to sub urbanization. It spreads out from the city like ripples from a stone thrown in undisturbed water. Suburbs of Boston are now cities. Arlington, Brookline, Cambridge, etc. are consumed by the city. Eventually the sub urbanization spreads further West into Framingham. Currently Westboro, Shrewsbury, Millbury and many other towns along the Massachusetts turnpike are being invaded by homebuyers who work in Boston. Moreover, in an effort enhance their recruiting ability corporations such as Compaq build facilities in rural areas further encroaching on ecologically sensitive areas. However, this does not decrease commute time or miles. In fact, from 1983 to 1990 mean vehicle miles per household rose 29% (Downs, 8). As these jobs become available in suburban areas with free parking and attractive landscapes they become attractive to everyone rather than just those in the local community. Therefore, cross commuting becomes common and travel miles increase. Consequently, increased traffic leads to street and highway expansion and development furthering deforestation and encroachment on wildlife habitat. Furthermore, this leads to global warming. As urbanization spreads the landscape is deforested. Forestland is the only resource that consumes the massive CO2 emissions from combustion engines. Moreover, as people move away from the city they become more dependent on the automobile for transportation. Their commutes are longer, and more of it is spent in gridlock traffic. This increase in CO2 emissions coupled with a decrease in CO2 consuming forestland results in an increase of CO2 in the atmosphere which will have severe effects on human existence if left unresolved. Public transportation is as inefficient as the automobile because there is no longer a common destination. Rather rails and bus lines would need to branch out in a dendritic pattern with minimal ridership. Hence, in 1990 only 5% of rush hour commuters used public transportation while 86% used automobiles (Downs, 8). Another consequence of urban sprawl is a decrease in precipitation absorbing wetlands. As these wetlands are backfilled, developed, and paved there are fewer outlets for water absorption. The result is costly and devastating floods. On the other hand, in developed deserts such as Las Vegas and Los Angeles water is stored in reservoirs behind dams to supply a burdensome population. The consequence to this is increased evaporation. In Arid areas such as these, even a 1% loss of water can have devastating effects on biological matter. Plant life that depends on the small amount of water dries up and dies. The soil becomes barren and is washed away by wind and rain. What is left is a barren wasteland. Bibliography 1. Baker, Linda. “The Fast-Moving Fight To Stop Urban Sprawl.” E May 2000 v11 i3 p26 2. Binkley, Clark, Bert Collins, Lois Kanter, Michael Alford, Michael Shapiro, Richard Tabors. Interceptor Sewers and Urban Sprawl. D.C.: Heath and Company, 1975 3. Brecher, Jeremy, & Tim Costello. Global Village or Global Pillage, Economic Reconstruction from the Ground Up. Cambridge, Ma. South End Press, 1998 4. Downs, Anthony. New Visions for Metropolitan America. Cambridge, Ma.: The Brookings Institute, 1994 5. Gordon, John Steele. “The American environment: the big picture is more heartening than all the little ones.” American Heritage, Oct 1993 v44 n6 p30 6. Gore, Al. Earth in the Balance, Ecology and the Human Spirit. N.Y.: Houghton Miffin, 1992 7. Gottdiener, Mark. Planned Sprawl, Private and Public Interests in Suburbia. Beverly Hills, Ca.: Sage Publishing, 1977 8. Hannigan, John A. Environmental Sociology. N.Y.: Routledge, 1995 9. Holleran, Michael. Boston’s Changeful Times, Origins of Preservation and Planning in America. Baltimore, Md.: Johns Hopkins University Press. 1998 10. Logan, Michael F. Fighting Sprawl and City Hall. Tucson, Az.: The University of Arizona Press, 1995 11.