NYT Editorial Welcomes The End Of Sprawl

The NYT editorializes on the just-released April 2010-July 2011 census data that shows a notable slow-down in exurban growth as urban growth increased. Pointing to the problems that accompanied America's embrace of sprawl, they welcome the change.

The editors note that despite the upturn in the economy, the sprawling growth patterns have not returned.

The demographic data showing "peak exurban growth" in 2006 mentioned below correlates with "peak oil consumption" in 2007 and "peak vehicle miles driven".

"For generations, Americans have migrated ever outward from city centers, pulled by affordable housing to places where long commutes were possible because of cheap gasoline. The costs of such migration - in traffic congestion, environmental degradation and increasing addiction to fossil fuels - were played down or ignored.

As a demographer, William Frey of the Brookings Institution, told The Times recently, exurbs were once the "cutting edge" of growth, but no more. "That growth has really come to a standstill," he said, "and is maybe being given up for dead at this point." His analysis of data found that the country's outer suburbs grew by only 0.4 percent in the fiscal year ended in July, down from 1 percent the same period before. It peaked, in 2006, above 2 percent.

The Census Bureau also recently reported that America's urban population increased by 12.1 percent from 2000 to 2010, faster than the nation's overall growth rate of 9.7 percent. The exurban tide may be receding."

Full Story: Pulling Back From the Exurbs


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