• Nihira Prakash


Los Angeles is one of the most sprawling cities worldwide. Urban sprawl refers to the unrestrained upswing of housing, rise in the usage of automobiles, commercial progress, and roads over vast stretches of land, with little scepticism for urban planning.

Another example is the traffic jams you might get stuck in if you visit Brazil and ride through São Paulo. Even Australia is a major example of urban and suburban sprawl, already surpassing 150 kilometres (93 miles) and swelling, followed by Sochi in Russia which has been stretching along both sides of its sands.

The process of urban sprawl has also guided the emergence of what we call metropolitan cities. Since cities expand geographically more than they do population-wise, this results in low-density population areas connected by roads.

A lot of times, the rapid outward extension of urban areas has led to the blurring of the land wise division of urban and rural spheres. Development patterns suggest infringement of open spaces and agricultural land particularly.

Sprawl and Climate Change

How is urban sprawl related to climate?

Urban sprawl causes a rise in pollution levels, especially air and water contamination. Though it leads to economic growth on a local level, it leads to long traffic jams and that also makes more people prone to fatalities and serious injuries from accidents.

Other harmful effects include loss of agricultural capacity and an increase in dependency on automobiles, causing a rise in photochemical smog.

Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are also found to surge with the advent of urban and suburban sprawling.

Moreover, a lot of energy is also wasted due to its ineffectual utilisation. Since people start using their personal transport, this discourages the idea of public transport and pooling.

All natural habitats and areas get wiped out under the process of sprawling, which also includes the natural wildlife in and around that area.

What's done is done, now we can only prevent more sprawls from taking place by posing restrictions and conserving natural patches of land that showcase rich flora and fauna.

If the Earth was an apartment, we wouldn't be getting our security deposit back.

-Jim Shubert