Impacts of Urban Sprawl and How It Affects Socialization

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Since the twentieth century, researchers are looking at and discussing this topic. According to Nguyen (2010) urban sprawl is the poor planning and under development of buildings in urban places whereby houses and organizations that offer goods and services have an endless distance between them. And even though the media and social networks has chief value, urban sprawl affects socialization as it limits the connection between neighbors which affects people’s wellbeing and survival in many areas.

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One issue that urban sprawl causes is traffic congestion. Nechyba and Walsh (2004) further detailed that insufficient open land space within an environment results in traffic congestion when individuals commute from one place to another. This causes people to spend more on transport and fuel than they bargain. So imposing tax within urban areas to eradicate traffic congestion causes low population rate in those places as business owners moves to remote lands to make it easier for their customers to reach out to them. 

Another problem that causes urban sprawl is the lack of natural spaces such as grassland, agriculture and forests in urban places. Using land for farming including dairy farming lost their essence to people as the urban areas increased. As urban growth continues with poor space and building planning it reduces the connection between people and natural environment. Although agricultural intensification is used to continue with farming, but this  promotes environmental degradation on soil and biodiversity (Dupras et al., 2016). 

Concepción et al. (2016) described that urban sprawl affects the varieties of plant and animal life in urban areas. Some living things cannot cope in the modernized sections and stay at the natural areas. In effect poor land planning reduces biodiversity because of their characteristics such as their ability to move from one point to another, habitat specialization or employment of natural resources.

In conclusion, urban areas that lack excellent land planning and open space because of urban sprawl, results in issues such as traffic congestion, absence of natural areas and the drop in the diversity of plants and animals.


  1. Concepción, E. D., Obrist, M. K., Moretti, M., Altermatt, F., Baur, B., & Nobis, M. P. (2016). Impacts of urban sprawl on species richness of plants, butterflies, gastropods and birds: not only built-up area matters. Urban Ecosystems, 19(1), 225-242.
  2. Dupras, J., Marull, J., Parcerisas, L., Coll, F., Gonzalez, A., Girard, M., & Tello, E. (2016). The impacts of urban sprawl on ecological connectivity in the Montreal Metropolitan Region. Environmental science & policy, 58, 61-73.
  3. Nechyba, T. J., & Walsh, R. P. (2004). Urban sprawl. Journal of economic perspectives, 18(4), 177-200.
  4. Nguyen, D. (2010). Evidence of the impacts of urban sprawl on social capital. Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, 37(4), 610-627.

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