"A federally financed research project (Costs of Sprawl) concluded that we can no longer afford sprawling development and that failure to force more dense development in the next quarter-century would impose more than $225 billion in additional costs.... Most of the research on which these assumptions are based is theoretical, projecting standard costs into the future. It makes no attempt to test the actual expenditures of more dense, slower growing, and older municipalities compared to municipalities with the suburban land-use patterns that have developed over the past half-century. The research contained in this paper examines the actual data on municipal expenditures and finds that the Current Urban Planning Assumptions are unreliable and that other factors--principally, variations in employee compensation per capita--explain virtually all of the variation in municipal expenditures."
Thanks to Chris Steins