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Technology and Sprawl

John Yoegel

Hi gang!
Thought I'd introduce this as a new topic derived from our recent discussion of sprawl. The question is this:
Will (can) technology mitigate, reduce or eventually even elininate sprawl (I recognize that we never quite got a firm handle on the definition but I think you know what I mean.) Technology like the car, and to some extent I think radio and TV allowed sprawl to occur.

Will, for example, computers so reduce the need to actually "go" to work that we could live any where? Or have we peaked at a magic 20 0r 30% (I'm guessing at that number) who can and want to telecommute? Or will the ability to live anywhere simply spread sprawl out further into the hinterlands.

Would higher speed transportation allow us to live further out in more self contained communities of ideal and controlled size (I was paying attention Earl) while still commuting to a central work place. Are there other technologies on the horizon that would change our living and working patterns in massive enough numbers to effect sprawl

Or.....not to get completely off the point but just to throw a grenade in, will the massive numbers of retiring baby boomers simply eat up more land with their (our) retirement communities and second homes making technological solutions moot.



Earl Finkler

John, you raise some very thoughtful points about the future
interacton, if any, between high tech and sprawl.
I'd like to study this some more, but my quick response
is that both things may happen:
1. High Tech will allow more people to live where they want
and telecommute, or something like that.
but also
2. For the bulk of the population, continued growth,
including immigration, and the desire for a single family
house and lawn,etc. will result in more sprawl.
Now that I am in my EARLR 60s, I'd also like to throw in
the concern that those quiet, retirement hideways, or
pleasant little towns that beckon, might have rapid spurts
of growth before we ever get there. We'll have to work
hard to find some other "undiscovered" place.

Should be an exciting century, this one. And planners
can, and should, be at the front of an all-out dedication
quality, and careful living, as well as sprawl and