Treehugger has a nice list on why suburban sprawl is bad. As I’ve mentioned before, my wife and I have discussed never buying a house. The reasons listed here are exactly why:
1. Sprawl development contributes to a loss of support for public facilities and public amenities.
2. Sprawl undermines effective maintenance of existing infrastructure.
3. Sprawl increases societal costs for transportation.
4. Sprawl consumes more resources than other development patterns.
5. Sprawl separates urban poor people from jobs.
6. Sprawl imposes a tax on time.
7. Sprawl degrades water and air quality.
8. Sprawl results in the permanent alteration and destruction of habitats.
9. Sprawl creates difficulty in maintaining community.
10. Sprawl offers the promise of choice while only delivering more of the same.
I’m most interested in the first 3 on this list. Big cities have a lot of things already built-in to how they run and suburban sprawl ignores all of those advancements made. I know we all want to be able to park in our own garage, avoid crime, have a yard, and not worry about neighbors playing music late at night, but the city just makes the most sense to me. I cherished all of the good things I got out of having a house and a yard when I was younger, but I’m not sure if that is the way to see the future. The future requires cooperation, and I think the city is better equipped for that kind of cooperation than a big sprawling suburb where everyone wants to have their own little piece of the American dream.