U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > General U.S.
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
View Poll Results: The ten most sprawling U.S. cities
Atlanta 194 54.96%
Dallas 142 40.23%
Houston 178 50.42%
Oklahoma City 58 16.43%
Charlotte, NC 71 20.11%
Jacksonville, FL 75 21.25%
Tampa, FL 29 8.22%
Los Angeles 166 47.03%
San Diego 43 12.18%
San Jose, CA 47 13.31%
Sacramento, CA 32 9.07%
Indianapolis 35 9.92%
Columbus, OH 26 7.37%
Nashville, TN 35 9.92%
Memphis, TN 17 4.82%
Lexington, KY 8 2.27%
Phoenix 176 49.86%
Tucson 37 10.48%
Las Vegas 108 30.59%
other (please specify) 42 11.90%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 353. You may not vote on this poll

Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 07-14-2007, 04:30 PM
 
609 posts, read 2,721,958 times
Reputation: 140

Advertisements

Quote:
Originally Posted by mpope409 View Post
For large cities, I think you would have to factor in the density per sq. mi. in relation to the total population.
Ok, here is a link better defining "urban sprawl" as defined by the U.S. Census bureau. This also uses data on a parameter I have advocated in the past in addition to MSA, which is urbanized area. Yes using UA DFW and Houston both decline in rank, but it does offer a unique view of metropolitan areas b/c it draws boundaries between rural and urban as defined by the census bureau rather than counties...b/c many rural counties get included into MSA's, and even more so in CMSA, which I like the least...MSA and UA's are my preference overall with the exception as I have said earlier of the Bay Area, which i think the latter two forumulas have failed to depict well.

Sprawl City

So here are the rankings of the top sprawl cities by the US govt:

1) Atlanta 701 sq. miles of sprawl (growth in land area)
2) Houston 638 sq. miles of sprawl
3) NYC (surprising, but not so if I think a/b it) 541 sq. miles sprawl
4) Wash DC/VA/MD 450.1 sq. miles of sprawl
5) Philly 412.4 sq. miles of sprawl
6) LA (surprising this is not at the top 2) 393.8 sq. miles of sprawl
7) Dallas (DFW) 372.4 sq. miles of sprawl

Not going to list everything, but it's an interesting link. Data based on UA's.

So basically if an urbanized area was 10 sq. miles in 1990 and 12 sq. miles in 2000, it sprawled out by 2 sq. miles.

Anyway, food for thought, I'm not agreeing or disagreeing with this, I'm just stating what our folks at the Bureau think of it...b/c it's interesting to compare it to what we, the public, think of sprawl and which cities are sprawled out. Looks like their definition of sprawl is the amount of sq. miles around a city that is classified as "urbanized". But please read their definitions.

As for my opinion on the matter...I'm surprised as some of the numbers of what they define as "sprawled" sq. mileage...b/c many would say DFW would have been higher in terms of growth in "sprawled land area"...NYC was surprising to me in terms of them ranking so highly in growth of "sprawled land area"...since the perception of the public would be the Northeast has no reoom to sprawl......and also surprised with LA, as the term "Los Angelized" is there in American History for a reason when talking a/b low population density spread (aka "sprawl"). Though LA has had interesting zoning laws shrinking plots of land and increasing population density such that there may have been shrinkage of growth in sprawled land over time.

Last edited by metroplex2003; 07-14-2007 at 04:41 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 07-14-2007, 06:07 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 20 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,006 posts, read 102,606,536 times
Reputation: 33064
Quote:
Originally Posted by carolinadreamin' View Post
I realize this info is almost 10 years old but it's the latest I could find. It still applies today about the same.

1998 Sprawl Report- Sprawl - Sierra Club

Clickable Sprawl Map
Interesting, but nine years old.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-14-2007, 07:57 PM
 
609 posts, read 2,721,958 times
Reputation: 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by pittnurse70 View Post
Interesting, but nine years old.
Yeah, unfortunately, the US Census Bureau has not calculated sprawl areas in awhile. So we can only surmise what has taken place in sprawl growth since that time period.

There is data on what the US census bureau defines as urbanized area in 2000.

Here's the link:

http://www.census.gov/geo/www/ua/ua2k.txt

Here you can convert to square mileage and take the difference b/t 2000-1990 to get you an estimate as recent as 2000 in terms of sprawl growth.

So the definition of sprawl growth is UAnew-UA old in sq meters since that is what the US Census bureau uses.

Unfortunately, it appears that the US Census Bureau only calculates urban areas every 10 years, so you can only use the 2000 Urbanized area minus 1990, or 1980 data, and update the 20 year time span that way.

Now the table also uses population density in persons/sq. miles. I find this odd that they use metric in one parameter and sq. miles in another.

So there you have it, sprawl growth as defined by the US Census Bureau is the difference in size of "urbanized area" over time. An "Urbanized Area" is the fully developed area of a central city and its suburbs. So it does not include rural counties...the area must be developed. THe census bureau defines what they consider "contiguous development".

ANyway, I'm really too lazy to start taking the differences b/t UA's b/t 2000 and 1990 or b/t 2000 and 1980.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-14-2007, 09:02 PM
 
Location: In God
3,073 posts, read 10,769,136 times
Reputation: 510
Quote:
Originally Posted by metroplex2003 View Post
1) Atlanta 701 sq. miles of sprawl (growth in land area)
2) Houston 638 sq. miles of sprawl
3) NYC (surprising, but not so if I think a/b it) 541 sq. miles sprawl
4) Wash DC/VA/MD 450.1 sq. miles of sprawl
5) Philly 412.4 sq. miles of sprawl
6) LA (surprising this is not at the top 2) 393.8 sq. miles of sprawl
7) Dallas (DFW) 372.4 sq. miles of sprawl
No offense, but just by looking at first glance I could tell these numbers were wrong. Atlanta is less than 100 sq. mi. across, Houston less than 610, and New York less than 500.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-14-2007, 09:33 PM
 
609 posts, read 2,721,958 times
Reputation: 140
Actually, these numbers are reported by the census bureau, and you have to remember that these are "urbanized areas" not CITY PROPER.

Houston city proper is 600 sq. miles.
Its urbanized area in 2000 had Houston at 1295 sq. miles. So it's whatever Houston UA's number was in 1990 from its 2000 urbanized area will give you amt. of sprawl growth b/t 1990 and 2000. They apparently only calculate UA land areas every 10 years. So the next one will be the 2010 census. The numbers listed above are how much urbanized area Houston UA (NOT CITY PROPER) added b/t 1970-1990. It's a measure of sprawl growth FYI.

THese are numbers published by the US Census bureau.

Remember, after all these posts, I typically speak regionally unless otherwise specified.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-14-2007, 09:43 PM
 
Location: In God
3,073 posts, read 10,769,136 times
Reputation: 510
Quote:
Originally Posted by metroplex2003 View Post
Actually, these numbers are reported by the census bureau, and you have to remember that these are "urbanized areas" not CITY PROPER.

Houston city proper is 600 sq. miles.
Its urbanized area in 2000 had Houston at 1295 sq. miles. So it's whatever Houston UA's number was in 1990 from its 2000 urbanized area will give you amt. of sprawl growth b/t 1990 and 2000. They apparently only calculate UA land areas every 10 years. So the next one will be the 2010 census. The numbers listed above are how much urbanized area Houston UA (NOT CITY PROPER) added b/t 1970-1990. It's a measure of sprawl growth FYI.

THese are numbers published by the US Census bureau.

Remember, after all these posts, I typically speak regionally unless otherwise specified.
Well, this thread would be one specification. Besides the fact that this is asking about cities, what Sprawl City supplied was the land area, but whether it's for a city proper or "urbanized area," wide spread doesn't necessarily equal sprawl. That's why it doesn't provide what was asked for. There's no way that New York could be so high and Dallas so low.

Last edited by mpope409; 07-14-2007 at 11:07 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-14-2007, 10:28 PM
 
609 posts, read 2,721,958 times
Reputation: 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by mpope409 View Post
Well, this thread would be one specification. Besides the fact that this is asking about cities, what Sprawl City supplied was the land area, but whether it's for a city proper or "urbanized area," wide spread doesn't necessarily equal sprawl. That's why don't provide what was asked for. There's no way that New York could be so high and Dallas so low.
actually, the definitions used in urbanized areas address multiple parameters including population. And the definition of sprawl defined by the US Census bureau is just that.

Basically, it's a different way of looking at a region vs. using the traditional MSA measure. MSA is done by counties, so thus, there are areas of the Houston MSA's 5.5 million people that are completely rural and not contiguous with the actualy Houston area. So the UA stat serves to define that.

So, what the Census Bureau has done, which Sprawl city in essence summarized was basically to define the term "urbanized area"...which by the census bureau differs from rural area...meaning, its contiguous with the principle city as defined by the forumulas of the US Census Bureau.

So yes, land area is included in that...but its included with the other parameters of population, development, etc. You cannot have piece of land that is called "urbanized area" without contiguous suburban/city development, population, etc to be on that piece of land. Otherwise, the land would be considered rural, and thus not part of the "Sprawl"

So, when defining UA, inherently population is part of that. Hence, there is an associated UA population, or population with an assigned sq. mileage that is part of the UA. And looking at that, DFW and Houston both fall downwards in the rankings.

UA is actually not a new term. It's been calculated by the Census Bureau now for over half a century. Sometimes people like to use it because it truly provides a more accurate reflection of a region vs. CMSA, which reaches to counties far far away from the actual principle city.

Now, when the Census Bureau talks a/b sprawl, they look at how much the UA has expanded...b/c the boundary of the UA is where rural meets urban as defined by the US Census bureau, and frankly, I do not like typing all these definitions...these can easily be researched.

So now, to emphasize the NYC stat, which I did admittedly find surprising at first glance, but thinking a/b it, it's not so surprising anymore...they only calculate UA's every 10 years...and this data is for urban sprawl b/t 1970 and 1990. And this is "Sprawl growth" or difference in UA size. NYC area grew rapidly during that time period. Back in the 1970's, A/C wasnt as readily available, and the sunbelt was just beginning to get noticed.
Also, we're talking a/b expansion of UA...so this is a change. NYC area back then expanded contigous population thereby UA area into NJ and CT at the time. That's lots of mileage added on...though places in the NE may not seem too far, they still did in all fairness expand upwards like that. Back in the 1970's, urbanization was in full swing in America...and the country's midsection was still catching on to that concept. So the UA of NYC area was 3300+ in the year 2000. Just think how much it added on since 1970. It's not unrealistic to think b/t 1970-1990 that it had sprawled that much more area out.

But remember, there are several parameters that go into defining an Urbanized Area.

And also remember, this is my definitions here...these are the definitions of the US Census Bureau of which you can agree or disagree with.

Looking at all of their methods...b/c they use city proper, MSA, CMSA, UA, PMSA, Metropolitan Divisions, I think UA, MSA, and Metropolitan division tend to be most reflective of a region. CMSA as I have said earlier is useful in places such as the Bay Area and some select, and I do mean very select Northeast regions.


But going back to the sprawl topic, since the UA includes population, development, etc etc as part of their determinant of UA land area, and given the fact this is what the US Census defines as sprawl, as they have used several charts and graphs at their actual website defining this, I tend to be generally supportive of these measures unless someone has a better mathematical formula in place to measure sprawl growth, which is a rate.

So, it will be interesting to see where the rankings fall now that the sunbelt has grown so much. How much sprawl has the sunbelt added and where do they rank in recent decades? You can calculate the difference b/t 1990 and 2000, but I would wait for the 2010 census. You see, the numbers posted are b/t 1970-1990. BAck in the 70's the North was still the major players when it came to American urbanism. The South caught on more into the 80's...so it's not surprising afterall a/b the NYC stats, as well as other stats being posted from northern cities.

I think the difference b/t 2010 and 1990 and 1990 and 1970 will paint a different picture and rankings will switch.

Last edited by metroplex2003; 07-14-2007 at 11:13 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-14-2007, 11:08 PM
 
Location: In God
3,073 posts, read 10,769,136 times
Reputation: 510
Quote:
Originally Posted by metroplex2003 View Post
actually, the definitions used in urbanized areas address multiple parameters including population.

Basically, it's a different way of looking at a region vs. using the traditional MSA measure. MSA is done by counties, so thus, there are areas of the Houston MSA's 5.5 million people that are completely rural and not contiguous with the actualy Houston area. So the UA stat serves to define that.

So, what the Census Bureau has done, which Sprawl city in essence summarized was basically to define the term "urbanized area"...which by the census bureau differs from rural area...meaning, its contiguous with the principle city as defined by the forumulas of the US Census Bureau.

So yes, land area is included in that...but its included with the other parameters of population, development, etc. You cannot have piece of land that is called "urbanized area" without contiguous suburban/city development, population, etc to be on that piece of land. Otherwise, the land would be considered rural, and thus not part of the "Sprawl"

So, when defining UA, inherently population is part of that. Hence, there is an associated UA population, or population with an assigned sq. mileage that is part of the UA. And looking at that, DFW and Houston both fall downwards in the rankings.

UA is actually not a new term. It's been calculated by the Census Bureau now for over half a century. Sometimes people like to use it because it truly provides a more accurate reflection of a region vs. CMSA, which reaches to counties far far away from the actual principle city.

Now, when the Census Bureau talks a/b sprawl, they look at how much the UA has expanded...b/c the boundary of the UA is where rural meets urban as defined by the US Census bureau, and frankly, I do not like typing all these definitions...these can easily be researched.

So now, to emphasize the NYC stat, which I did admittedly find surprising at first glance, but thinking a/b it, it's not so surprising anymore...they only calculate UA's every 10 years...and this data is for urban sprawl b/t 1970 and 1990. And this is "Sprawl growth" or difference in UA size. NYC area grew rapidly during that time period. Back in the 1970's, A/C wasnt as readily available, and the sunbelt was just beginning to get noticed.
Also, we're talking a/b expansion of UA...so this is a change. NYC area back then expanded contigous population thereby UA area into NJ and CT at the time. That's lots of mileage added on...though places in the NE may not seem too far, they still did in all fairness expand upwards like that. Back in the 1970's, urbanization was in full swing in America...and the country's midsection was still catching on to that concept. So the UA of NYC area was 3300+ in the year 2000. Just think how much it added on since 1970. It's not unrealistic to think b/t 1970-1990 that it had sprawled that much more area out.

But remember, there are several parameters that go into defining an Urbanized Area.

And also remember, this is my definitions here...these are the definitions of the US Census Bureau of which you can agree or disagree with.

Looking at all of their methods...b/c they use city proper, MSA, CMSA, UA, PMSA, Metropolitan Divisions, I think UA, MSA, and Metropolitan division tend to be most reflective of a region. CMSA as I have said earlier is useful in places such as the Bay Area and some select, and I do mean very select Northeast regions.


But going back to the sprawl topic, since the UA includes population, development, etc etc as part of their determinant of UA land area, and given the fact this is what the US Census defines as sprawl, as they have used several charts and graphs at their actual website defining this, I tend to be generally supportive of these measures unless someone has a better mathematical formula in place to measure sprawl growth, which is a rate.

So, it will be interesting to see where the rankings fall now that the sunbelt has grown so much. How much sprawl has the sunbelt added and where to they rank. You can calculate the difference b/t 1990 and 2000, but I would wait for the 2010 census.

I think the difference b/t 2010 and 1990 and 1990 and 1970 will paint a different picture and rankings will switch.
I'm lazy. Could you put that in a nut shell?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-14-2007, 11:21 PM
 
609 posts, read 2,721,958 times
Reputation: 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by mpope409 View Post
I'm lazy. Could you put that in a nut shell?
Basically, I think the numbers are probably ok b/c it addresses the period b/t 1970-1990. Really, the invention of air conditioning really did change the dynamics of American cities nationwide. And it's not just the invention, it's the mass production on a wide inexpensive scale that changed the dynamics. Cities like Dallas and Houston would not have had much success if it werent for mass production of A/C to consumers.

But I think we will see a switch when you look at 1990-2010 data, which would be more in line with places like Dallas, Phoenix, etc.

But in a nut shell, I think the places that have been voted on are pretty much in line. I'm really not trying to stir up trouble, just trying to put something interesting out there as food for thought

Anyway, have a great night till the next post!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-15-2007, 08:41 AM
 
Location: In God
3,073 posts, read 10,769,136 times
Reputation: 510
Quote:
Originally Posted by metroplex2003 View Post
Basically, I think the numbers are probably ok b/c it addresses the period b/t 1970-1990. Really, the invention of air conditioning really did change the dynamics of American cities nationwide. And it's not just the invention, it's the mass production on a wide inexpensive scale that changed the dynamics. Cities like Dallas and Houston would not have had much success if it werent for mass production of A/C to consumers.

But I think we will see a switch when you look at 1990-2010 data, which would be more in line with places like Dallas, Phoenix, etc.

But in a nut shell, I think the places that have been voted on are pretty much in line. I'm really not trying to stir up trouble, just trying to put something interesting out there as food for thought

Anyway, have a great night till the next post!
Well, between you and me, most of the voters don't know what they're talking about. Seriously. And the numbers you presented just don't sit right with me because New York is not that high up in sprawl. It doesn't even list cities such as Orlando, Cincinnati, Kansas City...you get where I'm going with this. Greater New York takes up a large area, but a lot of that area is urban, not sprawl.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > General U.S.
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top