I've been procrastinating, but I really should get my thesis going, so my graduate school coursework isn't all for nothing. My topic has been approved, I've been working on the literature review for awhile, but I'm still trying to nail down a methodology.
Where I live, and use to work, in Winnebago County, IL there are some awful sprawling residential developments and the county board keeps approving more and more. They see these new homes as a boost to the economy (construction jobs, generate more taxes than farmland, etc). The population isn't growing enough to justify all the new homes, smaller school districts are facing major overcrowding and budget constraints, the new roads in these subdivisions go to heck in a few years and aren't property maintained, these homes are usually on well and septic, probably causing irreversible groundwater damage... the actual costs for these sprawling developments go on and on. I would like, through my thesis, to prove to the county board that the costs of these developments outweigh the gains. Specificly, I'm thinking of focusing on schools, emergency services and road maintenance. People getting fat, environmental degredation, and all the other costs of sprawl aren't as measurable.
Any ideas? All thoughts are appreciated.