- Obviously, urban sprawl isn't going to go away. It is a fact of American life that many want to own an affordable home in a quiet neighborhood. It is also a fact of the market that, as long as people want these things, some way to provide them will be found. Sometimes, that will come at the cost of farmland, forests, and habitat.
By the same token, though, urban sprawl probably would never have even become an environmental issue without the massive government spending that sponsors the creation of "leapfrogs," communities built far outside large cities, bringing infill developments all along the brand new, state-funded highway that connects the two.
If the government quit subsidizing developments either way, then the market would really be free to determine whether or not large, sprawling suburbs are the best way to grow. And that's the kind of growth that might actually be smart.
Perspective on Sprawl
Here's some perspective on urban sprawl from aBetterEarth.org: