From homeowners worried about crime and property values om Frog town to Burnsville commuters whose drive on Interstate 35 W gets slower each year, no one is immune to sprawl’s effects. It sets Bloomington against Lakeville in competition for new industry and pits Brookdale’s comedown against Maple Grove’s hope to attract a new regional mall. It makes highways more crowded and mass transit less viable. It requires more roads and sewers and higher taxes to pay for them. It has economic effects as well, separating unemployed people living in cheap city housing from low-wage jobs in developing suburbs.
It causes blight to spread from growing pockets of Minneapolis and St. Paul into first-ring suburbs. Even in a developing suburb like Eagan, Mayor Tom Egan worries about predictions that sprawl could creep another 50 miles south to Lake City. If that happens, Eagan too could become a casualty of sprawl. Reduced demand for housing could cause property values to stagnate. Tax rates would have to increase to produce funds needed to pay off bonds sold to finance schools, parks and roads.
“It’s hard to know where the lines are anymore,” he says. But sprawl has complex and manifold features. So what’s the problem Rising concentrations of poverty in central cities and older suburbs: In Minneapolis and St. Paul, growing sections of the cities lost working-class and middle-class residents and became home to poor families.
The proportion of census tracts with 20 percent or more of households living in poverty rose from 9. 4 percent 1980 to 15 percent in 1990. Crime rose along with poverty. Older suburbs like Bloomington, Fridley, St. Louis Park, Richfield, West St.
URBAN SPRAWL BOB TACKETT The definition of urban sprawl according to WORDS MYTH 1. spreading of the urban structure into adjoining suburbs and rural areas. The definition of urban sprawl according to Merriam-Websters on line dictionary: the spreading of urban developments (as houses and shopping centers) on undeveloped land near a city. The definition of urban sprawl according to Dictionary. com ...
Paul and South St. Paul showed similar trends. “It’s no that they ” re bad places to live,” says Lyle Wray, Citizens League director. “It’s just that this may be the last generation to want to live there. What do we do with obsolescent housing How do you recycle cities” More congested highways and no money to build new ones: Traffic on Twin Cities highways grows 3 percent to 4 percent a year.
But with a decline in federal highway and transit funding and resistance to increasing the state gas tax, the transportation system has only enough money to maintain and repair the current system. With more traffic and no new highways, there will be more congestion. “Keep fitting that growing foot into the same shoe,” says Bob McF arlin, public affairs director for the Minnesota Transportation Department. “Pretty soon growth will outstrip our ability to manage it.” The state is considering proposals for toll roads and congestion pricing. Such measures would dramatically increase the cost of commuting. Meanwhile, bus fares have risen and service been reduced.
Shift of employment to the fringe: Between 1990 and 1995, two-thirds of the region’s job growth was in developing suburbs or in free-standing cities like Stillwater and Hastings. Central-city residents without cars can’t get to jobs in distant suburbs, and suburban employers often have trouble attracting enough workers. Some companies opt to expand outside the region, taking their jobs and tax base with them. Polluted land deters many employers from locating in central cities and older suburbs. In a 1993 study, University of Minnesota researcher Barbara Luke rman found that environmental liability had the greatest impact on location decisions made by Twin Cities companies. The two central cities and first-ring suburbs were at a significant disadvantage.
They had almost two contaminated sites per square mile, compared to about one per square mile in developed suburbs, one in every 2. 5 square miles in developing suburbs and one in every 10 square miles in rural areas. Of more than 44, 000 acres developed in the Twin Cities for commercial and industrial use in the 1980 s, only 1, 400 acres were in fully developed suburbs and only 100 acres were in Minneapolis and St. Paul, she found. Leapfrog development beyond urbanized counties: Since 1980, Wright and Sherburne counties have experienced dramatic growth. During the 1980 s, the number of households grew 52 percent in Sherburne County and 25 percent in Wright County.
The guide benefited from valuable contributions made by members of the project Steering Group, who gave time to share their practical experience and offer feedback. Members of the Steering Group are: Mary Parsons (Group Executive Director, Places for People), Will Cousins (Deputy Chairman, David Lock Associates), Stephen Heverin (Director of Investment, First Ark Group), Lee Newlyn (Director, ...
A large portion of those residents drive into the Twin Cities for work. This produces more air pollution, pressure on highways and consumption of farm and forest land. Other byproducts include groundwater pollution from septic system failure and fierce annexation fights between towns and neighboring townships. Even areas like St. Cloud experience traffic congestion, sprawl into scenic areas and concentrations of poverty at the urban center. “If we don’t do something on how we plan and how we want to grow, we will become one undifferentiated metro area with the Twin Cities, there’s no question about that,” says Rep.
Joe Opa tz, a St. Cloud Daler. “We are beginning to see the disparity between the urban core and the outlying development.” Rising local taxes and fees: Developing suburbs often require large lots in hopes of attracting more expensive homes with higher property taxes and lower social costs. But such development patterns exclude moderate-income families and incur high costs for sewers, schools and roads.
A detailed 1992 study by economists at Rutgers University estimated that by concentrating population and job growth in already developed areas or in new urban centers, New Jersey municipalities and school districts would save $400 million a year. Metro Council staff estimates it will cost $3. 1 billion for new sewers and water systems if the current low-density development – about two units per acre – continues as the region’s population rises by 650, 000 between now and 2020. They say the region’s taxpayers could save $600 million in public infrastructure costs by concentrating development. Loss of farmland and open spaces: Between 1982 and 1992, Minnesota lost 2. 3 million acres of farmland.
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Washington County lost 26, 000 acres of farmland, or 20 percent of its total. Hennepin County lost 29 percent and Anoka 17 percent. This reaches beyond the metropolitan area: Chisago County lost 19 percent; Olmsted 7 percent. Environmental pollution: More sprawl means more driving, which sends more carbon monoxide and other pollutants into the air. More paved land also means that more phosphorus and other pollutants flow into storm sewers, rivers and lakes, rather than soaking into the ground..