Measuring the Impact of Sprawl

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Sprawl versus compact development – it’s a complicated dichotomy, and a crucial argument in the study of sustainable urban development. Measuring Sprawl 2014, a new study from Smart Growth America that analyzes development patterns in U.S. metropolitan areas and counties, is looking to see which communities are more compact and connected and which are more sprawling, and examining how index scores relate to life in that community. The researchers found that several quality of life factors improve as Sprawl Index scores rise; individuals in compact, connected metro areas spend less on the combined cost of housing and transportation, have greater transportation options, and tend to live longer, safer, healthier lives than their peers in metro areas with sprawl.