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Urban Sprawl
A process of growth of urban area or sub-urban area in an unplanned manner having no regard to social infrastructure and subsequent needs for transport and other facilities and services .
Urban sprawl can be viewed and interpreted in different ways. In this section we try to give an overview of the types of definitions of urban sprawl that exist and filter out, where the different approaches to sprawl originate from. 

Hayden defines sprawl as “a process of large-scale real estate development resulting in low-density, scattered, discontinuous car-dependent construction, usually on the periphery of declining older suburbs and shrinking city centers.” 
According to Bourne  observations about sprawl, such as “any extension of the suburban margin, the spread of development onto sensitive greenfields and agricultural soils, increases in highway congestion, the proliferation of new subdivisions of homogeneous and low density, single-family housing.” A “suburban development” that is “haphazard, disorganized, poorly serviced, and largely unplanned.”  Notwithstanding the contentions, the definitions suggest the sprawl indicators, among which are the density of population and dwelling unit (dwelling units per acre). 
With population and jobs spreading beyond urban and suburban (i.e., exurban) areas, the regional balance of jobs and housing, and the connection of land use with transportation are critical indicators of whether urban growth resembles compact or connected polycentric urban growth in a network of multi-modal regional transportation, or “haphazard” sprawl. 
Sprawl can be defined by example, as expression, as consequences and as pattern of development; these different approaches of defining sprawl are explained in next section. 
Sprawl is also frequently defined as the consequence of something else. 

Downs says that sprawl occurs as a consequence of the fragmentation of control over land use in metropolitan areas.

Altshuler edge toward a clearer definition of sprawl by identifying the types of development patterns associated with it: Continuous low density residential development on the metropolitan fringe, ribbon low density development along major suburban highways, and development that leapfrogs past undeveloped land to leave a patchwork of developed and undeveloped tracts. 

Ewing suggests that sprawl represents a stage in the development process rather than a static condition. This definition suggests that some parts of an urban area may pass through a sprawl stage before eventually thickening and diversifying so they can no longer be characterized as sprawl. 

To summarize above definition urban sprawl is a term that has been used to describe a variety of conditions. It has been associated with patterns of residential and nonresidential land use, the process of extending the reach of urbanized areas (UAs), the causes of particular practices of land use, and the consequences of those practices. 

1. Hayden, D. (2004). A Field Guide to Sprawl. New York: W. W. Norton and Company.

2. Bourne, L. (2001). The urban sprawl debate: Myths, realities, and hidden agendas.
3. Downs, Anthony. (1998). “The Big Picture: How America’s Cities Are Growing.” Brookings Review 16 (4): 8-11
4. Altshuler, Alan, William Morrill, Harold Volman, and Faith Mitchell, eds. 1999. Governance and Opportunity in Metropolitan America. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press.
5. Ewing, Reid. 1997. Is Los Angeles—Style Sprawl Desirable? Journal of the American Planning Association 631, 1):107—26.
Urban sprawl is defined in this study as an unplanned outgrowth, little planning control of land subdivision of urban centres along the periphery (a run-down area of dispersed development) that is physically expanding with a pattern of low-density expansion of large urban areas, along highways, along the road connecting a city, mainly into the surrounding agricultural areas, around the fringes of cities, towns and urban areas.
Front Desk Architects
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Urban Sprawl refers to the vast and “limitless” extent of metropolitan areas in unplanned manner. 
Major causes of urban sprawl are population growth, appreciation in land value with time period, loose enforcement of government policies and fragmentation of agriculture land by revenue department rules.  
Manish Jain Luhadia 
B.Arch (hons.), M.Plan
Tel: +91 141 2743536 


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