Reviews Essays Sample on Urban Decline
Edge cities, urban sprawls, gated communities as well as common interest development are a common phenomenon in cities throughout the globe and Toronto is not the exception. These are largely due to lack of proper urban development, planning and the movement of people towards the border of central cities. According to the article, the development patterns mentioned above cause decline of urban regions by eroding tax base, commerce as well as the character of towns and cities that were established earlier hence, destroying their historical and economic value as heritage sites. Therefore, there is urgent need to have a comprehensive, rational plan and strategies that will combat negative impact caused by such development patterns.
Gated communities, urban sprawls, edge cities as well as common interest developments often are known as sprawls largely because of their expansive nature, low density and ability of shifting populations, commerce as well as other urban life aspects like pollution, offices and congestion from core cities and towns in peripheral regions. Sprawl is defined as a low density of a spread out development that is the products of unplanned, poor land use management and rapid growth over years. Such development patterns also take up large tracts of land compared to the urban development patterns. An edge city refers to a new sprawling urban center that is dominated by automobile middle class dependent population and often, it is found within outskirts of urban areas that are older or the intersection of some of the major highways which previously were not occupied. Gated communities refer to those who live in neighborhoods that are fenced and often known as self governing homeowners. This is clearly evident where the residents are auto-dependent and leads to air pollution, production of large mono-function area and traffic congestion (Sorensen and Okata 267).
Among the problems associated with suburb sprawls is environment damage. Such sprawls disrupt wildlife habitat and also fragment farmlands. Clearing forests and expanding of highways also disrupts the habitat of wildlife that comprises the ecosystem. Turning of farmlands to urban sprawl settlements also reduced size of land available for agriculture and also affects production. Extensive build of environment lowers the level of infiltration of runoff as such causing floods and it also lowers the water table. Traffic congestion is an aspect that causes pollution of air and results to ugly landscape with low aesthetic value as a result of vegetation destruction. Sprawls development has some financial costs as well especially to residents and old/core city. Congestion of traffic leads to increase in consumption of fuel among residents. Additionally, it causes tear and wear of care while increasing road rage instances. Longer commutes on the other hand impose social costs like taking time from families and creation of dependence on automobile transport like expansive less populated regions which are less economical for operation of public transport. It leads to the creation of a lifestyle requiring a car which discriminates against poor people and other groups unable to drive for instance the aged and children. Urban sprawl also harms the city through eroding tax base and destruction of its commerce which is as a result of relocation of the population and business to outskirts of the city hence destroying the economic health of the city (Insert surname 101). Mississauga is an excellent example as it is a suburb located in western outskirts of Toronto and it is achieving an urban identity nu presence of Marilyn Towers and other development urban patterns (Hertel and Keil para 1). It leads to increased cases of poverty and unemployment in urban regions as a result of shifting opportunities to urban sprawls. New infrastructure construction in sprawls and underutilization of urban infrastructure is costly to the economy. Therefore, sprawls result to loss of historical treasures when commerce and popular is taken so as to establish neighborhoods and cities that are full of heritage. Currently, Toronto suburbs are vibrant and they are not considered inferior to Toronto city. A new edge city is also undergoing development around Oshawa Center located in Toronto metropolitan region. The center is transformed from mixed use development that is comprised of business, retail, community and government services (Insert surname 111).
Urban sprawl is a regional predicament as such, it needs a comprehensive, rational plan and strategies that can be tacked in an effective manner. Among the solutions is setting urban growth boundaries that will prevent encroachment of farmlands that is expansive and that os open spaces that are within the city’s outskirts. There is also need to promote reinvestment within cities and urban towns through denser and sustainable development as well as encourage public transport and pedestrians who are family friendly. Governments or communities are supposed to buy lands that are close to the city in order to reduce or prevent urban sprawls.
Urban sprawl is a phenomenon that is hard to control largely because it is a regional predicament as such, it needs comprehensive, rational planning as well as strategies that can combat the practice. It is achievable to introduce public transport in these areas through use of average capacity vehicles which are economical to operate. The environment damage in sprawls is minimized through planting trees along highways and in neighborhoods. Due to evolutionary nature of cities, these sprawls will continue to rise as the years pass. However, it is important to control these sprawls in order to minimize resources wastage like land and fuel. Understanding impact of urban spral is instrumental in future planning of urban center. Additionally, it offers great evolutionary insights on the nature of cities as well as the changes in development patterns as well as functions.
Hertel, Sean, and Roger Keil. “Look for Toronto’s Urban Future.” The Star, 25 Sept. 2013. Web. 4 October. 2013.
Sorensen, André, and J Okata. Megacities: Urban Form, Governance, and Sustainability. Tokyo: Springer, 2011. Print.