The Suburbs Are Everywhere.

Essay by Shire187University, Bachelor'sA+, April 2006

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Less than a decade ago, people would have guessed that cities were made to accommodate people. Neighborhoods were once designed to support comfort and relaxation. Parks were a place where people could once go to play, and not a place for a lawmaker to say "See? See? There is a place to go and get exercise." And where parents actually went outside, and played with their own children instead of paying someone else to do it. All of these, once upon a time, "norms" were just that, norms. Today in America, it is very rare that one looks out his or her window, and doesn't see a person staring back with a weird stare. For some, this may not be a bad thing, but for most, the gazing eyes of a neighbor do not bring much comfort. This massive decrease in back yard square footage is the result of nothing more than urban sprawl.

In order to understand how urban sprawl is working, one must first understand what it is. Webster's defines sprawl as "[To] be spread out carelessly." Add that to urban, meaning a city area, and you have the careless spread of at city area, or urban sprawl. The effects and causes of urban sprawl have been debated and argued since the beginning of the suburban neighborhood.

NASA has traced the beginning of the urban sprawl in America to a time around the 1950s ( It credits the spread of the suburbs to a "post-war prosperity when housing developments popped up across the landscape like mushrooms

after a rain" ( To put it in a 19-year-old's words: after World War II, people began moving out of the cities, and into nice, new suburban neighborhoods. Possibly to get away from all the chaos and stress that comes with living...