Urban Sprawl Literature Review

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Urban sprawl is defined as the expansion of metropolitan areas into urban surrounding areas, often due to the rapid population growth within a city. As a result of urban sprawl there has been an increase in traffic, health issues, environmental issues and public expenditure, due to migration away from the city centre and this affects its functionality as a human community. Since 1930 literature has discussed the concept of compact cities as the ideal city. The term Compact City originated in the 1930’s and Oxford Dictionary defines the Compact City as “an urban area with clearly defined boundaries, in which the residential and commercial districts are relatively close together, forestalling the development of rural land and reducing the need…show more content…
Fishman is a Professor of Architecture and urban planning at Taubman College, University of Michigan. His article acknowledges, Mumford’s Fourth Migration where the population moved away from the central cities to suburbs and predicts that we are now entering a time of a fifth migration. The fifth migration is described as the re-urbanization of the central city suburbs that were previously migrated away from. His central concept is that the push for this new migration and revival of the city centre will come from the city’s minorities and immigrants. Fishman states that “the demographic potential of the fifth migration rests on such varied bases as aging baby boomers returning to the cities; their 20-something children rejecting the suburbs in favour of livelier inner city districts; the ‘natural increase’ of unslumming households who choose to stay put; and of course, the millions who seek to migrate to the United States” (Fisherman, 2003). This migration is evident in cities globally. Fishman understands Mumford’s vision for the compact city, and that the vast rate in which the city occupants fled the city and created suburban sprawl which Mumford describes as the ‘anti city’ and that he stated was the “ideal formula for promoting total urban disintegration” (Mumford, 1968). Mumford’s vision for the minimisation of a city was to limit suburban size, however, not promote the abandonment of city centres. Fisherman (2003), acknowledged Mumford’s city of a compact city but introduced the new concept of re-inhabiting the city
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