Sierra Club Home Page   Environmental Update  
chapter button
Explore, enjoy and protect the planet
Click here to visit the Member Center.         
Search
Take Action
Get Outdoors
Join or Give
Inside Sierra Club
Press Room
Politics & Issues
Sierra Magazine
Sierra Club Books
Apparel and Other Merchandise
Contact Us

Join the Sierra ClubWhy become a member?

Stopping Sprawl campaign home page - click here.
Get an overview. Sign up for an e-newsletter. Find out what you can do to help.
Backtrack
Environmental Update Main
Sprawl Main
In This Section
Sprawl Overview
Reports & Factsheets
Activist Resources
Get Involved!
Communities
Transportation
Articles & Research
Population and Sprawl

Get The Sierra Club Insider
Environmental news, green living tips, and ways to take action: Subscribe to the Sierra Club Insider!

Subscribe!

Stop Sprawl
Sprawl: The Dark Side of the American Dream

sprawl

1998 Sierra Club Sprawl Report
Clickable Sprawl Map
30 Most Sprawl-Threatened Cities
The Costs and Consequences of Suburban Sprawl


What is Sprawl?

Sprawl is low-density development beyond the edge of service and employment, which separates where people live from where they shop, work, recreate, and educate - thus requiring cars to move between zones.

The consequences of sprawl:

  • Traffic congestion.
  • Longer commutes that steal time from family and work.
  • Worsening air and water pollution.
  • Loss of farmland, open fields, forests and wetlands.
  • Increased flooding.
  • Raised taxes to pay for services - police and fire departments - and infrastructure - new schools, roads, water, and sewer structure.

How does sprawl hurt cities?

  • Sprawl erodes the city's tax base as people flock to the suburbs, forcing cities to raise taxes on remaining taxpayers to pay for city services.

  • Sprawl destroys downtown commerce
    by pulling shoppers from once-thriving locally owned stores and restaurants to large regional malls.

  • Sprawl increases unemployment and concentrates poverty in urban centers.

  • Sprawl undercuts property values and investment opportunities.

  • Sprawl robs cities of character as abandoned factories, boarded-up homes and decaying retail centers dominate the landscape.

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


Up to Top | Printer-friendly version of this page