What is sprawl? Its a term thats been becoming more common towards the second half of the 20th century yet the concept behind it has existed for longer than most think. Urban sprawl is a term that covers a lot of ground one might say. Most of the sprawl that can be seen has occurred over the past twenty years. As a whole, sprawl consists of multi-lane highways, strip malls, sub-divisions, and dense housing. Other ways to define it are scattered and poorly planned development such as sub-divisions and strip malls that were just mentioned. It provides communities with poor accessibility to and from their residences as well as other destinations, decreases the amount of space people have for living, and creates population problems in schools and raises taxes. .
Urban sprawl is a plague that has been created by society for as long as humans have been alive. Society in brief has always felt the need to develop in every way; size, prosperity, financially, and power, etc. Sprawl is society's answer to fulfilling the need for development and expansion, though not in the best way. Specific areas of society that have brought on the growth of urban sprawl are the economy and lifestyle that families want. The economy has placed large influence retail in big name superstores such as Wal-Mart and K-Mart. Society's need for material objects is provided by the construction of these superstores and huge malls that we see everywhere we go. In 1994 at least 80 percent of stores being built in the United States were superstores. Now in the 21st century they continue to be built and sprawl continues to grow. As well, the economy has led to social classes so more wealthy people will build closer to each other and possibly want access to stores more easily. Therefore, more stores will be built adding to the urban sprawl. It isn't however just the economy that has led to the growth of sprawl, it's the lifestyles that people choose to live.