Urban Sprawl And The United States

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Introduction This paper is a review of past and current research based on the cause and effect of urban sprawl in the United States with a case analysis of Fairfax County, Virginia. The motivation for this review is to shed light on issues that surround urban sprawl in large metropolitan areas and to discuss recommendations for research and ways to improve various effects of sprawl. The second motivation for this research is to show that there needs to be uniformity among researchers and urban planners, better data and analysis should be done to combat sprawl. My goal with this literature review is to define urban sprawl, define classic patterns in the United States, how we measure sprawl, the cause and effect of sprawl in the United States, give detailed background information on Fairfax County, future trends and implications of sprawl in Fairfax County, how to combat sprawl in the United States as well as in Fairfax County and key priorities in future research. What is Urban Sprawl? To define sprawl we have to understand the characteristics that make up sprawl. Low density is most commonly defined as that of single family homes on larger lots in areas constituted as suburban, buildings are smaller (having less stories) and are spaced further apart. The Transportation Research Board (1998) states that low density development “is one of the cardinal defining characteristics of sprawl.” Single use zoning is also a common characteristic of sprawl. Single use zoning is

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