The Curse Of Urban Sprawl

The rapid urban growth and development haveresulted in the increase in the share of India’s urban population from 79 million in 1961 that was about 17.92 percent of India’s totalpopulation to 388 million in 2011 that is 31.30 percent of India’s total population. This fast rate of increase in urban population is mainly due to large scale migration of people from rural and smaller towns to bigger cities Urban sprawl has resulted in loss of productive agricultural lands, open green spaces and loss of surface water bodies. Hence, there is a dire need to study, understand and quantify the urban sprawl.

Throughout the human history, urban areas have played a significant role in transforming the society. They have been the scene and setting of major social, economic and political change. Urbanization has been an important social and economic phenomenon taking place at an unprecedented scale and rate all over the world. Although, urban areas cover a very small fraction of the world’s land surface, their rapid expansion has significantly altered the natural landscape and created enormous environmental, ecosystem, and social impacts. Due to the acceleration of the global urbanization in both intensity and area, there is a growing interest in understanding its implications with respect to a broad set of environmental factors including loss of arable land decline in natural vegetation cover and climate at local, regional, and global scales .The unplanned and uncontrolled rapid growth has resulted in serious negative effects on the urban dwellers and their environment. It is also associated with health risks including air pollution, occupational hazards and traffic injury, and risks caused by dietary and social changes. As population increases in an area or a city, the boundary of the city expands to accommodate the growth; this expansion is deemed as sprawl.

Urban sprawl can be caused by a variety of different things. These causes will mainly include:
Lower Land Rates: Lower cost land and houses in the outer suburbs of the cities, because the enters of urban development have really made people want to stop settling in these areas and want to venture further out.
Improved Infrastructure: There is increased spending on certain types of infrastructures, including roads and electricity. This is something that hasn’t always been available, and there are still some areas that don’t have these luxuries. That doesn’t mean that they aren’t working on it.

Rise in Standard of Living: There are also increases in standards of living and average family incomes, which means that people have the ability to pay more to travel and commute longer distances to work and back home.
Lack of Urban Planning: People love to find areas that are less trafficked and more calm, which leads them to sprawl out to other sections of the town. Unprecedented development, cutting of trees, loss of green cover, long traffic jams, poor infrastructure force people to move out to new areas.

Lower House Tax Rates: Cities will usually have high property taxes, and you can usually avoid these taxes by living in the outer suburbs because the taxes are usually lower than they would be in other situations.
Rise in Population Growth: Another factor that contributes towards urban sprawl is rise in population growth. As number of people in a city grows beyond capacity, the local communities continue to spread farther and farther from city centres.

Consumer Preferences: People in high income groups have stronger preferences towards larger homes, more bedrooms, bigger balconies and bigger lawns. This also causes urban sprawl as this option is not available in crowded cities. People generally look out for low-density residential areas where they can get home according to their preference.

Increase in Public Expenditure: They can actually play a part in the increases of public costs, because these changes in infrastructures and building must actually be paid for by someone- and it is usually the tax payer’s money that pays for it.

Increased Traffic: Populations will begin to use their cars more often, which means that there is more traffic on the roads, and there is also more air pollution and more auto accidents
Health Issues: When people use their vehicles, even to go to a very short distance, people are going to be more overweight and are also going to have to deal with ailments such as high blood pressure and other diseases that come about with obesity.

Impact on Social Lives: When people move further out, they also have an impact on their social lives. They don’t have neighbours that live as close, which means that they won’t really stay as social as they should. This isn’t always the case, but it is something that should be taken note of.
Increased Air Pollution:-Longer and more frequent commutes are a major concern associated with urban sprawl.More driving leads to more air pollution, which can contribute to poor health and smog problems.
Water Overconsumption:-Spreading out development creates water distribution problems and can lead to water overconsumption. A typical low-density or suburban community uses more water than a high-density city community. Landscaping is the primary culprit for this excessive use of water.
Loss of Wildlife Habitat:-Rapid development can negatively affect wildlife by tearing down, clearing, or building over its habitat, potentially threatening survival.

A study conducted by Department of geography, on the topic “Urban sprawl and its impact on land use/land cover dynamics of Dehradun City, India”In this study, an attempt has been made to monitor land use/land cover of part of Dehradun city over two periods of time i.e., from 2004 to 2014 for change detection analysis and to assess urban sprawl using IRS P-6 data and topographic sheets, in GIS environment for better decision making and sustainable urban growth. The study area is part of the Dehradun city and is located at 30°19’ N latitude and 78°20’ E longitude .There are significant spatial and temporalchanges in the pattern of land use/land cover in the cityof Dehradunlongitude. There is a remarkable change in the agricultural landwith a negative growth of 9.47 percent. It decreased about39 percent from 25.45 to 17.65 between 2004and 2014

By – Nursing Tutor – Ms. Annu Panchal
Department of Nursing
Magazine (YouthRainBow)- Uttaranchal (P.G.) College Of Bio-Medical Sciences & Hospital
Uttaranchal (P.G.) College Of Bio-Medical Sciences & Hospital
Uttaranchal College of Education
College Of Nursing UCBMSH

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