publication . Bachelor thesis . 2006

The problematization of urban sprawl in the United States

Chang, John;
Open Access English
  • Published: 01 Jan 2006
  • Publisher: Linköpings universitet, Tema teknik och social förändring
  • Country: Sweden
Abstract
This paper examines the controversy over urban sprawl in the United States. Because there is abundant descriptive literature about urban sprawl as well as numerous prescriptive “strategies” and “toolkits” to “tame” and “fight” sprawl, this paper instead examines urban sprawl as a social construction and specifically focuses on its non-problematization, the phenomenon of social groups which do not or refuse to acknowledge sprawl as a legitimate problem.
Related Organizations
61 references, page 1 of 5

1 Introduction 1 1.1 Personal motivation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 1.2 Overview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

2 Aims and objectives 5 2.1 The problem of sprawl . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 2.2 Problem statement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 2.3 Method . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

3 Theoretical considerations 9 3.1 A sociological perspective . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 3.2 Studying controversies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 3.3 An integral approach . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 3.4 Social construction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 3.5 Ontological issues . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 3.6 Epistemological issues . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

4 Defining urban sprawl 17 4.1 The problem of definition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 4.2 Some definitions of sprawl . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 4.2.1 Qualitative definitions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 4.2.2 Quantitative definitions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21

5 Historical context 23 5.1 A brief history of anti-sprawl . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 5.2 Emergence of the term . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 5.3 Legitimization of sprawl as a problem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27

6 Qualitative content analysis 33 6.1 Social construction of non-problematicity . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 6.2 Qualitative content analysis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 6.3 Identification of actors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 6.4 Sampling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 6.5 Coding . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37

8 Storyline analysis 51 8.1 Identification of storylines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51 8.2 Conservation vs. Development . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52 8.3 Growth vs. Smart Growth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55 8.4 Planning vs. Free Choice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57 8.4.1 Conte . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58 8.4.2 Gordon & Richardson vs. Ewing . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60

A Content analysis sample 69 Sources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69

Conner, R. (2005, December). Letter to the editor: Sprawl.

Cox, W. (2000). Flawed federal land use report (Backgrounder No. 1368). The Heritage Foundation.

Cox, W. (2001, July). 'smart growth' a major cause of traffic congestion. Environment & Climate News.

Cox, W. (2003a, October). The anti-sprawl movement: Anti-minority and anti-immigrant. The Heartlander.

Cox, W. (2003b). Ceaucescu: Father of smart growth (News Release). The Heartland Institute.

Cox, W. (2003c). Debunking Friday the 13th: 13 myths of urban sprawl (News Release). The Heartland Institute.

Cox, W. (2003d). Planning is a tool, not a goal. Environment & Climate News.

61 references, page 1 of 5
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