If I was to make my own scenario for the future development of New Jersey taking into consideration one major society-shaping change in recent times I would pick the issue of urban and suburban sprawl. The existence of urban and suburban sprawl occurring is an uncontrollable expansion which is occurring. It is specifically taking place in more urban and suburban areas. I view sprawl as a negative occurrence which needs to be addressed in the future or it will destroy the environment. In the United States the population has been growing substantially. According to the book Contemporary Urban Planning by John Levy, the population of the country is growing by 3 million people per year(295).
As the population continues to rise so does the need for housing, growth is unavoidable. The book says it tends to be difficult to identify sprawl but Reid Ewing comes up with some main examples indication that it is occurring. The three main instances are “leapfrog or scattered development, commercial strip development, and large expanses of low-density or single-use development” (295). Instances like this seem to tend to occur in areas closer to cities.
The idea of smart growth is something which I think can assist with the issues of suburban and urban sprawl. The picture above shows the population per square mile for the state of New Jersey. There is rare areas where there isn’t less than 100-250 people per square mile. The areas which tend to have little to no population are those which are protected areas and can’t be built on. You can see that the more heavily populated areas are right outside of the two major cities close to New Jersey.
The first city being New York City and the other being Philadelphia. Both of these cities have major sprawl occurring around them not just because of how heavily populated they are. But, also because these areas tend to be heavily populated, have a lot of traffic, and little open space. I feel suburban sprawl isn’t the right answer though to answer the issue of growth. Currently, society has become more environmentally aware and is beginning to understand the need to protect it.
Smart growth helps fight the issues of sprawl by using economic and community development and also has to do with sustainability. It helps by having land use controls, tax policy, and even can put some sort of subsidy in place to create a more compact development (296). I think in places seeing a lot of sprawl building upwards by using mixed use buildings like housing and retail all in one in an area would lessen the need for cars. Also, the areas would be more pedestrian friendly and would allow people to walk places more easily.