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The Pros and Cons of Suburbanization, Term Paper Example

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Term Paper

Describe the pros and cons of suburbanization in the creation of metropolitan areas, and analyze its impact on urban sustainability in general and in the context of a city such as Long Beach in California.

According to Dietrich (1961), in his article entitled Nature and Directions of Suburbanization in the South, in recent years due to the changes in the modes of agricultural production and management, improvement in transportation facilities, expansion in the network of high speed highways, accelerated development in production techniques and the movement of people from agricultural areas, the difference between social and physical demarcations between rural and urban settlements have become blurred, indistinct and almost unrecognizable (Dietrich, T.S., 1961).

Suburbanization, according to Sridhar &Sridhar (2003), is the process of holding the population constant while increasing its percentage in the suburbs, and one of the benefits of this strategy is that made available through the application of the standard economic theory, which state that as that as income and increases, they have the effect of increasing suburbanization.

Based on government designs, suburbanization enables pools of qualified and competent workers be concentrated within so that the human resource needs of business organizations and emerging industries can be met and thus facilitate productivity and profitability gains and maintenance.

The natural evolution theory of suburbanization, according to Margot (1992), takes into account the impact of income and population on the density gradient of each zone and use the analysis as incentives to attract companies and prospective employees to set up business and reside respectively. According to Margot (1992), as new housing units are built in these zones, high income groups of workers that prefers larger amount of space for dwelling will seek to make acquisitions to satisfy their personal and family needs.

Suburbanization strategies overtime will also provide an excellent opportunity for business organizations engaged in providing transportation and retail services, as according to Sridhar & Sridhar (2003), increases in real incomes will allow residents to purchase the more expensive modes of automobiles as well as frequent retail shopping centers to purchase consumer goods.

In suburban areas, land prices are also cheap in comparison to urban locations, and will also serve as a means of attracting prospective high income earners into the region in the hope of taking advantage of the attractive real estate’s that are available.

However,  the growing population of the suburban because of the attractive incentives, will lead to greater demands on the utility services such as water, light, energy production, maintenance  resources for sewage and garbage control, road maintenance due to increase in the number of automobiles, traffic congestion management and reduction of environmental pollutions especially the production on green house gases.

Authorities in charge of developing suburbanization development will also have to provide resources and control mechanisms to ensure land management within these zone are efficiently so that residential and commercial regulations are maintained, the development of uncontrolled slums be minimized, and activities that may lead to pollution of the underground water aquifers avoided.

Suburbanization projects overtime, can become the zones for rapid increase in crime and violence, especially on their outskirts where slums may be burgeoning.

According to a University of Michigan Working Paper Series, the 21st century has seen not a move back to the farms by rural minded members dwelling in cities, but rather a move to largely spreading urban-rural residential and commercial developments which has led to declines in traditional economic centers. The move is as a result of the increase in the number of shopping malls and other business establishment along major roads intersections and highways interchanges (University of Michigan Working Paper Series, 2002).

The loss of business in these urban economic centers due to the migration of different strata of the populations will in the short run, lead to reduction in sales revenues, reduction in production, and profit generation and eventually the closure of a number of businesses accompanied by possible rise in the unemployment rates.

According to Pincetl (2011), urban sustainability involves a re-examination of urban development, which should include the impact of environmental, social, economic policies, politics and practices on cities and the interconnected roles that have to play in the global environment change.

Cities that take sustainability, according to Portney (2011), will go beyond the concern for the physical environment and the creation of jobs and focus on the integration of economic development, the environment and quality of life across all societal activities.

Suburbanization brings with it the potential for ground and water contamination as a result of the impact of nitrogen based fertilizers, according to Aelion, Shaw &Wahl (1997), and these chemical can poison human and fish in their immediate vicinity as well as for several miles along river beds.

A strong commitment towards urban sustainability is therefore required to handle environmental and other threats, and this was exemplified by the actions of European governments, according to Camagni, Gibelli &Rigamonti (2002). These governments had the widely held conviction that extensive buildings on the fringe, not only consumes precious land resources, but is largely responsible for the high cost of infrastructure and energy, the congestion of transportation networks, increasing specialization and segregation of land use, and the degradation of the environment.

All these elements Camagni et al. (2002) infers draws away from cities their model of sustainable development and undermines the traditional features of processes like diversity and compactness which are necessary to maintain order, conformance and stability in operating environments.

The suburbanization of jobs in particular, according to Camagni et al. (2002), produces a demand for mobility and a growing dependence on private vehicles for intra- metropolitan trips that most public infrastructure cannot sustain. This Camagni et al (2002) is due to the low demand density in diverse areas and the scattering of jobs locations.

These problems and others associated with suburbanization can only be solved and facilitate the achievement of urban sustainability, according to Camagni et al. (2002), by conducting vital economic, social, environmental cost of urban expansion on the pervasive use of automobiles and appropriate technological research and analyses on all impacting interconnecting variables associated with  the established societal goals.

Long Beach is an urban metropolis located in California. The city has a population of 491, 564  within a 52 square miles zone on the Southwest of Los Angeles County, and is regarded as the third largest in the state , according to Long Beach City (2011).

Critically, the city support 30,000 Long Beach jobs and 300,000 Southern California ones, has the world’s third busiest ports,  has to utilize 400 tons of waste to generate electricity for the daily needs of 35, 000 homes.

In order to meet these impacting interconnecting elements within this suburbanized zone and achieve urban sustainability, the leadership of Long Beach City designed a “Sustainable City Action Plan”, that include placing emphasis on buildings and neighborhoods, energy consumption, green house economy and lifestyles, transportation, the urban nature, water quality maintenance and waste reduction methodologies and management, according to Long Beach City (2011).

Consistent and timely examination of each component of the plan and their impacts of suburbanization development the city leaders reports, will enable them to use the information gathered to guide decisions and future critical thinking towards the achievement of sustainability, going further into the 21st Century.

The city of Long Beach seems to be on the right path to meet the challenges that suburbanization demands, but should use the benchmark standards and achievements of other American and European cities, to ensure the capability will be  in place to handle the growing traffic congestion, high sewage and garbage demands, threatening environmental pollution from the air and underground water sources, the growth of slums and crime and violence which accompany these urban-rural settlements that are set up to serve business organizations human resource needs.

Reference

Aelion, C.M., Shaw, J. N., & Wahl, M., (1997). Impact of Suburbanization on Ground Water Quality and Dentrification in Coastal Aquifers Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology Vol. 213 Issue 1 pp.31-51

Camagni, R., Gibelli, M.C. & Rigamonti, P.  (2002). Special Section: Economics of Urban SustainabilityElsevier Ecological Economics 40 (2002) pp.199-216 www.china-sds.org/kcxfzbg/addinginfomanage/wwk/data/kcx.pdf , 11/21/11

City of Long Beach, California (2011). About the Citywww.longbeach.gov/citymanager/maprogam/city.asp , 11/21/11

Dietrich, T.S., (1960).Nature and Directions of Suburbanizations in the South University of North Carolina JSTOR Social Forces Vol.39 No.2 December 1960) pp.181-186

Pincetl, S. (2011). Urban Sustainability Urban Development and Sustainable Systems www.rpd-mohesr.com/upload/customerpages/urban%20sustainability.pdf , 11/21/11

Portney, K.E. (2003). Taking Sustainability Cities Seriously The MIT Pres Boston MA www.mitpress.mit.edu/catalog/item/default.asp?ttype=2&tid=9207 , 11/21/11

Sridhar, K.S. & Sridhar, V. (2003). The Effects of Telecommuting on Suburbanization: Empirical Evidence The Journal of Regional Analysis and Policy JRAP (2003) 33:1

University of Michigan Working Paper Series (2002). A Study of Local Planning and Development Management in Genesee County, Michigan Urban and Regional Research Collaborative URRC 06/02 www.sitemaker.umich.edu/urrcworkingpapers , 11/22/11

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