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Impact Of Urban Sprawl On Life Expectancy

7 months, 2 weeks ago

4491  0
Posted on Jul 04, 2018, 8 p.m.

University of Texas researchers have found a correlation between urban sprawl and a decreased life expectancy within the USA, as published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.


According to researchers despite having the highest levels of expenditures on health care the study shows that the United States is not among the countries with the highest levels of life expectancies, changes in urban planning and building have to be made to help with this challenge.

21 criterias were used to evaluate quality of life issues among residents living in major metropolitan statistical areas. Life expectancy, economic mobility, personal health, safety, and transportation choices all improve in less sprawling areas. Individuals residing in poorer socioeconomic areas have to overcome more adversities such as greater travel times to reach school, grocery stores, and work. Alternatives such as the Green Building Movement have become a staple to society rather than an exception.


Lack of walkable urban developments and supportive transit systems result in a shift of this movement. Universities added to an inflow of high-tech and innovative business are key components to regional ecosystems, which exist in the USA but developments surrounding them and regional accessibility must be more supportive.


Developing urban areas with concepts of clustering similar industry, walkability and proximity to urban amenities, diversity and regional connectivity is urged by the researchers. Sprawling does not attract knowledge intensive business. Employing more progressive building standards such as mixed development, walkable and supportive transit added to already built environments may help correct current situations.


The more new aged intensive style of development attracts more knowledge intensive business and attracts the creative class to fill the jobs these businesses will provide. Developing and building smarter in urban settings is a must as more places such as North Texas quickly approach megacity status, with such sizes alternative ways to flourish must come forth to accomplish this looking at basics such as transportation, pollution, and construction; more investigation needs to be done in areas which have been successful.

Materials provided by University of Texas at Arlington.

Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Journal Reference:

Shima Hamidi, Reid Ewing, Zaria Tatalovich, James Grace, David Berrigan. Associations between Urban Sprawl and Life Expectancy in the United States. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 2018; 15 (5): 861 DOI: 10.3390/ijerph15050861


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