Is the End of Suburban Sprawl Finally In Sight?

For decades, sustainability pundits have been predicting that high gas prices would put an end to suburban sprawl and drive people back into the centers of cities. Chapter 12 of Chris Steiner’s book $20 per Gallon documents the argument quite nicely, for example. And for decades, of course, the fastest growing counties in the country have been those surrounding the country’s major cities, which in turn have been either stagnant in population terms or, in the case of the old manufacturing cities of the east and Midwest, declining.

A couple of recent reports, however, suggest the sustainability geeks just might have a point. First, new research conducted separately by the U of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute and the CoPirg Foundation shows that there has been a significant decrease in the number of miles driven by Americans since 2004, about 6 percent in fact, most particularly on the part of the younger generation aged 16 to 34. And then there’s this report from the most recent US census showing that, in the past few years – and for the first time in decades – central cities in the US are growing in population terms faster than the surrounding suburbs.

via Is the End of Suburban Sprawl Finally In Sight? · Environmental Management & Energy News · Environmental Leader.

Categories: Energy, Transportation