free essays

Urban and Suburban Sprawl

Urbanand Suburban Sprawl

If left unchecked, URBAN sprawl will jeopardize water quality andlimit natural landscape ability to protect against climate change.Urban sprawl is a concept that integrates outward expansion of thecities and its suburbs and other low-density development. A researchdone by HarvardUniversity to project the effect of sprawl on thestate of world climate, water quality and landscape ability in 50years revealed that decisions on land use as a result of urban andsuburban sprawl, have dramatic impact on the forests which act as asource of water. The research revealed that there would beimperceptible changes to the ability of the land due to erosion. Italso showed that current trend will limit natural land which in turnwill lead to water siltation (Harvard University, 2013).

Sprawlbrings about expansion of the city as people look for low-densityareas. This is accompanied by expansion of roads, cutting down oftrees to usher in new developments and moving of lands duringconstruction. This causes flooding, which jeopardises the quality ofwater. Increasing impervious surfaces like parking lots and roadsleads to deforestation which in turn affects the climate. Primaryvictims of urban and suburban sprawl are trees. Trees bringaboutbalance in the ecosystem which stabilises climatic changes. Treeshelps to take in carbon dioxide which when released to the atmospherecauses global warming. The expansion limits the natural landscapewhich is used by the wildlife. In conclusion, urban and sub-urbansprawl if left to continue without proper measures will causecontamination of water causes climatic change such as global warmingand limit the natural land such as forests and areas that areoccupied by the wild animals.


Harvard University (2013). Urban sprawl threatens water quality,climate protection, and land conservation gains. Retrieved on 1stApril 2014 fromhttp://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131211070502.htm