Sprawl, European Style

The U.S. often gets a bad rap for its sprawling suburbs and unplanned development, but Robert Kwolek notes that many European cities and other parts of the world aren't far behind.
April 22, 2011, 1pm PDT | Rebecca Sanborn Stone
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Europe is known for its quaint, compact villages and old city centers. But take a close look at its land use patterns, and you'll see that many European cities like Zug, Switzerland and Canary Wharf in London are experiencing the same kind of sprawl that's common in the U.S. In the post-war years, apartment complexes and industrial parks also spread out from the center of old European cities: cheap buildings built on cheap land with little thought to architecture and planning.

Robert Kwolek notes that this has some different (though still destructive) consequences in Europe, where most workers still live in city centers. Workers disperse from the cities during the day, cars are on the rise, and historic cities become nothing more than tourist attractions.

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Published on Sunday, April 17, 2011 in Sustainable Cities Collective
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