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Table 2.2 Types of suburban development (Camagni et al. 2002 )
(T1) in-filling, characterized by situations where the building growth occurs through the
in-filling of free space remaining within the existing urban area
(T2) extension which occurs in the immediately adjacent urban fringe
(T3) linear development that follows the main axes of the metropolitan transport infrastructure
(T4) sprawl that characterizes the new scattered development lots
(T5) large-scale projects, concerning the development of new lots of considerable size that are
independent of the existing built-up urban area
Defining Sprawl Through Land Use
Land use patterns provide a second means of describing urban sprawl. A report from
the US Transportation Research Board ( 1998 ) lists the characteristics of sprawl
pertinent in the United States setting as: low-density residential development;
unconstrained and non-contiguous development; homogenous single-family resi-
dential development with scattered units; non-residential uses such as shopping
centers, strip retail, freestanding industry, office buildings,
schools and other community uses; and land uses which are
spatially segregated from one another. Additionally the report
characterizes sprawl as entailing heavy consumption of ex-
urban agricultural and environmentally sensitive land, reliance
on the automobile for transport, construction by small develop-
ers, and lack of integrated land use planning. These character-
istics are very broad-based and typify almost all post-World
War II development in the United States. Thus “sprawl is almost impossible to sepa-
rate from all conventional development” (Transportation Research Board 1998 , pp.
7). Unfortunately, while this ensures that no aspect of sprawl is omitted, it does little
to differentiate sprawl from other urban forms. Sprawl is most commonly identified
as low-density development with a segregation (measured at an appropriate scale) of
uses; however, it is not clear which other land use characteristics must be present for
an area to be classified as sprawl (Batty et al. 2004 ).
urban sprawl
is sometimes
in terms of
land use
The SCATTER Project
A recent EU-funded project has developed a definition of sprawl that is based on
the environmental, social and economic impacts of sprawl processes. The literature
generally assumes that these are negative, a perception that is becoming common
in Europe where urban sprawl is a much more recent and rather differently differ-
entiated phenomenon than in the United States, and where its emergence has been
accompanied by an increased public and private sensitivity towards urban sustain-
ability. The SCATTER Project ( S prawling C ities A nd Tr anspor T from E valuation
to R ecommendations) belongs to the sustainability-oriented research and policy
actions sponsored by the European Commission. Its main starting point is once
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