In The Contemporary Urban Planning textbook by Mr. Levy, it talked about urban trends in the 21st century and what caught my eye while reading it was the idea of decentralizing technology. I understand decentralizing is when people are living away from where they might work and shopping centers are being built close to homes outside of the town center or urban city. Decentralizing is basically moving away from a central point of a city or urban center and spreading out and creating suburbs. But what I found interesting was that technology was so highly important in the expansion of cities and towns around cities. The book talks about street cars, trolleys and cars as being the main reason for the decentralizing of cities. With these technologies I think they helped with urban sprawl as well. Sprawl is “a pattern of land use in an urbanized area that exhibits low levels of some combinations of eight distinct dimensions: density, continuity, concentration, clustering, centrality, nuclearity, mixed uses and proximity.”  Sprawl occurs in scattered, dispensed development and low density areas. There is a lack of functional open space in sprawl and sprawl is common in wealthy suburban households. But do to the new technologies that are being more affordable and more common middle and lower income families don’t have to live in the city and can move to a place with more space and just commute to work. Along with the new technologies that are making it easier to leave the city the need and opportunity for jobs come along with sprawl and the creation of good business follows.

With pollution becoming more visible and spreading to new parts of the land, the causes are also becoming more apparent as well. The technologies that we use everyday like the car or the bus are main reasons pollution is so bad, but they are also the reasons why you can live so far away from where you work. Pollution is very common with urban sprawl. There are so many components to sprawl and decentralization. They both seem to be done in an orderly process where one thing or event leads to the next. While reading I realized there are many things that are connected to one another and contribute to developing more sprawl or decentralization, both good and bad. But will cities become popular again due to the proximity of everything being so close to where we live or will sprawl and expansion continue due to technological advancements?  Only time will tell.

Advertisements