Commentary

Sprawling Rap Sheet

The list of sprawl’s alleged crimes is long, and includes increasing pollution, encouraging strip malls, and making it easier cars to mow over pedestrians. Now sprawl apparently also makes us fat, kills trees, and even makes flooding worse. Apparently, there’s no evidence that sprawl actually caused Hurriance Isabel. Reason’s Chris Fiscelli discusses some of the origins of sprawl here: Public officials, recognizing voter concerns about growth, have resisted high-density housing, particularly apartments or low cost housing. Developers are forced to go elsewhere usually further to the urban perimeter where growth opposition is less intense. The result is more sprawl and often housing supply that doesn’t keep pace with demand. Although it’s so often maligned, there’s much to like about sprawlââ?¬â??or as it used to be calledââ?¬â??the “suburbs.” This Reason website is a great source for those who want a sober look at the suburbs.

Ted Balaker is an award-winning filmmaker, journalist, and founding partner of Korchula Productions, a film and new media production company devoted to making important ideas entertaining.