Why are suburban lots in the southwest so small?

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#41
Perhaps there are fewer two story homes because with the lots so small, the neighbors can see into the backyard from a second story. That at least is what happens in my mother's neighborhood in California.
In most neighborhoods in the North and Northeast you can see in all your neighbors backyards. Maybe it has something to do with the same reason houses down there have walls... there is a lack of community!
 

wahday

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#43
I thought of a few other considerations at least for here in the southwest:

  • Heating and cooling is more efficient in a one story building. With our intense sun and solar gain potentials, limiting glazing is also beneficial.
  • History and aesthetics - traditionally, the Pueblo structures here have served as a model for other house designs. The Spanish took many design elements from the Pueblos and on to current building types, there is a whole family of homes called "Pueblo-style", "Pueblo Revivial," etc. Its also fitting with our landscape. Its open, flat and few trees, so homes that emphasize large open spaces and horizontal expanse are more in keeping with the experiences outside of the home. In PA, where I grew up, there are many large trees and hillier terrain. To see two or three story homes poking up among this feels more fitting - its a more vertical landscape. I suspect that those trees and vegetation in general also do provide some natural screening from one yard to the next - at least more than out here where vegetation is more sparse and trees never really get all that huge (except for a few species).

  • Lastly, as I mentioned in an earlier post in the merged thread, cost is probably a big factor here in New Mexico. We are not a wealthy state and to appeal to emerging middle class buyers, housing cost needs to be kept in check. Building one story homes is a way to accomplish that as are smaller lots. So, economics is a big factor for us.
 
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#44
In most neighborhoods in the North and Northeast you can see in all your neighbors backyards. Maybe it has something to do with the same reason houses down there have walls... there is a lack of community!
I am not sure there is any evidence that there is more "community" in one part of the country vs. another. Californians do like their 6 foot walls around their back yards. Perhaps its because the houses are so close together AND people spend much more time outside in their yards - almost year round even in northern California.
 
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#45
It's funny you should mention that. I am working on a Master's in Community Economic Development right now and my thesis/creative component is about how "walkability" and the social attitudes/community involvement of teenagers are interconnected. Financial/social status aside, teenagers involved in activities that require constant use of a car are less connected to the civic aspects of their community than teenagers who do not require constant use of a car.
 

nec209

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#46
, teenagers involved in activities that require constant use of a car are less connected to the civic aspects of their community than teenagers who do not require constant use of a car.
What do you mean by lack of civic aspects?


I thought about aesthetics has building in the North and North East US and Canada are brown brick , red brick , white siding , gray brick and other dark drab colors. Well the sun belt cities are more bright colors ,stucco and red tile roofs are also a very popular look.



ranch style house in California
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ranch_style_home_in_Salinas,_California.JPG

What you would see in the North and North East US and Canada
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Gingerbread_House_Essex_CT.jpg




History and aesthetics - traditionally, the Pueblo structures here have served as a model for other house designs. The Spanish took many design elements from the Pueblos and on to current building types, there is a whole family of homes called "Pueblo-style", "Pueblo Revivial," etc. Its also fitting with our landscape. Its open, flat and few trees, so homes that emphasize large open spaces and horizontal expanse are more in keeping with the experiences outside of the home. In PA, where I grew up, there are many large trees and hillier terrain. To see two or three story homes poking up among this feels more fitting - its a more vertical landscape. I suspect that those trees and vegetation in general also do provide some natural screening from one yard to the next - at least more than out here where vegetation is more sparse and trees never really get all that huge (except for a few species).



Is there some pictures to show the Pueblo look ,Spanish look ? I thought the California look was more bright colors ,stucco and some red tile roofs.


What about Victorian look? wiki saying Quote The term Victorian architecture can refer to one of a number of architectural styles predominantly employed during the Victorian era. As with the latter, the period of building that it covers may slightly overlap the actual reign, 20 June 1837 22 January 1901, of Queen Victoria after whom it is named Quote


This may be what I'm hung up on. Where Toronto took a Victorian architecture doing the 1900- to 1950 and alot of sun belt cities took a California look. And it could be that the Victorian architecture where 2 story where has the California look where a more 1 story look.


Quote The Victorian era of the United Kingdom was the period of Queen Victoria's reign from June 1837 until her death on the 22nd of January 1901 Quote

This may be why Toronto looks older and LA newer.Even the fack the pop not that off.


Toronto 1901 population 238,080
Toronto 1951 population 1,117,470


Los Angeles 1900 population 102,479
Los Angeles 1950 population 1,970,358



Typical of Toronto house
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Toronto_Row_Houses.jpg
http://www.flickr.com/photos/caro11ne/390308397/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/27677258@N00/252834204/


Building almost touching
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Toronto_-_ON_-_Toronto_Skyline2.jpg


This is so Toronto look
http://www.flickr.com/photos/jfitzg/sets/72157618079049045/detail/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/jfitzg/sets/72157618079049045/detail/?page=2

These look very very old than LA but looking at the population growth of LA and Toronto are almost the same with growth .Are these Victorian architecture? Did Toronto take 1800's architecture look and LA like lot of the sun-belt cities took a California look ( more 1900 to 1950 look? To I understand architecture look:(:( I do not think I will understand why the North and North East look that way and the sun- belt cities look that way.

It is not good to say well Toronto looks so old has a Toronto 1861 population 65,085 and 1901 population 238,080 .It seems any thing built before the 50's in Toronto look very old , but older than LA and the likes of alot of sun belt cities .

Is it the fack the homes ,stores and such took a victorian architecture look and LA and the likes of alot of sun belt cities took a California look?
 

wahday

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#47
Is there some pictures to show the Pueblo look ,Spanish look ? I thought the California look was more bright colors ,stucco and some red tile roofs.
Check out this wiki link about Pueblo Revival Style (which is unique to New Mexico and a few other areas in neighboring states): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pueblo_Revival_Style_architecture

Pueblo style architecture seeks to imitate the appearance of traditional adobe construction, though more modern materials such as brick or concrete are often substituted. If adobe is not used, rounded corners, irregular parapets, and thick, battered walls are used to simulate it. Walls are usually stuccoed and painted in earth tones. Multistory buildings usually employ stepped massing similar to that seen at Taos Pueblo. Roofs are always flat. A common feature is the use of projecting wooden roof beams (vigas), which often serve no structural purpose.
The California style you are thinking of is called "Mission Style" architecture and developed in parallel to the Pueblo Revival Style at the turn of the 19th century (though Spanish New Mexicans had been building like this on a small scale since they arrived around 1600).

Mission Style (or Mission Revival Style): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mission_Revival_Style_architecture

The Mission Revival Style was an architectural movement that began in the late 19th century and drew inspiration from the early Spanish missions in California. The movement enjoyed its greatest popularity between 1890 and 1915, though numerous modern residential, commercial, and institutional structures (particularly schools and railroad depots) display this instantly-recognizable architectural style. The Mission Inn in Riverside, California is generally considered the largest Mission Revival Style building in the United States.
What about Victorian look? wiki saying Quote The term Victorian architecture can refer to one of a number of architectural styles predominantly employed during the Victorian era. As with the latter, the period of building that it covers may slightly overlap the actual reign, 20 June 1837 22 January 1901, of Queen Victoria after whom it is named
Well, we have Victorians in Albuquerque (I live in one) but they are in the minority. They date to the post-railroad years here (1880s onward). However, in terms of shear numbers, the Pueblo Revival style dominates the housing landscape of Albuquerque. I'm not sure the reasons, but I know that toward the end of the 19th century and the early years of the 20th, dimensional lumber was expensive to get in large quantities, so block houses (whether adobe or some other form of CMU) were a more affordable option. But again, I think historic precedent and a desire to fit newer homes into an established and valued style was a major factor in continuing with the Pueblo style.

Also, many building and development trends in New Mexico occurred a good 20 years after it hit elsewhere in the country. I think this is due to our remote location (not as much now, but definitely in the past). Remember, New Mexico was a territory until 1912 - the hinterlands.
 

nec209

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#48
I was having talk with guy on MSN and this what he tells me.


Saying they are from a High-Victorian or Victorian Commercial Vernacular Style
http://www.flickr.com/photos/jfitzg/sets/72157618079049045/detail/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/jfitzg/sets/72157618079049045/detail/?page=2




Has for why Canada has more malls than plazas like in alot of the sun belt cities I say the cold . Has for the basement they say it is needed for the cold so the house does NOT freeze and move.


Also people say the sun belt cities had cheaper land value so sprawled out more and do to the water shortage there was less of the garden city movement in the sun belt cities. The water shortage also is not good for buildings higher than 5 story do to the water pressure. I hear that Las Vegas has major water problem and are limited by growth do to the mountains so so is more denses than other city built post ww2.

Has you see this Los Angeles shot ...
http://www.flickr.com/photos/albaum/1362641756/sizes/l/


That is what I'm talking about.. (( You will not find that look in the North or North East US or in Canada.))
 
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wahday

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#49
Has you see this Los Angeles shot ...
http://www.flickr.com/photos/albaum/1362641756/sizes/l/


That is what I'm talking about.. (( You will not find that look in the North or North East US or in Canada.))
Are you sure? I see sprawl all over the place. Take a look at these images form the northeast US and Canada:

This is from outside Minneapolis: http://minnesota.publicradio.org/co...ws_cut/content_images/sprawl_apple_valley.jpg

Levittown, PA ca. 1952:http://explorepahistory.com/images/ExplorePAHistory-a0k5h4-a_349.jpg

Pennsylvania: http://lal.cas.psu.edu/Research/Images/sprawlComp.jpg

Pennsylvania (Lehigh Valley): http://www.westvalleypres.org/mediafiles/lehigh-valley-sprawl.jpg

Ontario: http://media.photobucket.com/image/sprawl canada/drew313_2009/sprawl.jpg

Toronto: http://www.indyish.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/torontosprawl027.jpg

Western Ontario (Waterloo region): http://media.therecord.topscms.com/images/f0/87/34c918a34cbd8cc3c15a8e5ce13c.jpeg
 

Linda_D

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#51
My contribution to this most interesting discussion is this link to the 1894 Buffalo City Atlas, which shows just about all the building lots and the buildings on them that existed when the data was collected. (http://www.erie.gov/atlases/buff_94/city_atlas.html).

The lot widths and lengths are listed along with the street numbers. The buildings are also shown, along with the number of stories as well as composition (ie, red for brick and yellow for wooden). Businesses, churches, schools, etc are identified.

This atlas is from the time when Buffalo was growing but hadn't yet been "swamped" with newcomers (primarily European immigrants). What you see is that large areas of the city outside of downtown were either still farmland or "suburban" type developments. Also the tradition of deep narrow lots seems well entrenched.

Some time in the 1890s I believe, NYS prohibited cities from annexing of surrounding areas, which meant that Buffalo couldn't expand outward. I think that contributed to the development of very dense urban neighborhoods as the city's population grew. The lots were replatted to 30' wide and whole neighborhoods of two-family homes were built (up and down apartments). Also, many neighborhoods added additional houses on the same lot. You see some of that on the atlas, but it became quite common in many working class neighborhoods later on.
 

Rygor

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#53
I like that law. No annexation! Seriously.
That might sound good in effect but there would be some dire unintended consequences of that. If there was no annexation I think you'd just see a lot of near-urban, fringe development in counties that tend to have lower building standards and infrastructure standards. That is unless all states had laws in place that allowed jurisdiction by municipalities over zoning and building/infrastructure standards for areas within a certain radius of their boundaries (ETJ). Without ETJ laws it would be a big mess!

Now urbana growth boundaries on the other hand...that's an idea that I wish were more commonplace.
 

stroskey

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#54
What if each township was their own municipality, though? Here is a small map of the Twin Cities but you can clearly see how most of the suburbs are pretty square. The sheer number of lakes makes it so that some aren't square but if the lakes didn't exist they would be.



This is a bad map but it shows how clean that pattern of annexation can look. I don't see why that is a problem.
 

mendelman

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#55
Well, without annexation you get balkanization of the region and the requirement for regional planning gets tougher and tougher. I'd much prefer to see a region under one municipal control than fractured into 4 dozen+ separate kingdoms.
 

Dan

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#56
Has you see this Los Angeles shot ...
http://www.flickr.com/photos/albaum/1362641756/sizes/l/


That is what I'm talking about.. (( You will not find that look in the North or North East US or in Canada.))
Modest bungalows, small (5,000-7,000 square foot) but not tiny lots, interconnected street grid; it's not unique to LA.

Looks like typical 1920s-era streetcar suburb development, which the LA area had quite a bit of thanks to the Pacific Electric system. Also, the Los Angeles area absolutely exploded during the 1920s; it's really the decade when it came onto its own as a major American city. Before WWI, it was essentially an outpost at the far western fringe of the country; a small city surrounded by hundreds of square miles of orange groves.

There's a city that is fairly close to you that has a similar history; relatively small before WWI, explosive development in the 1920s with bungalows on small-but-not-that-small lots, and in interconnected street grid. From 1910 until the 1950s, the region that city was in had a growth rate that mirrored that of Los Angeles.

I'm talking about Detroit. I'm not kidding. A lot of 1920s Detroit is now urban prairie, but you can see evidence of the Los Angeles-like development pattern in neighborhoods that escaped the blight. Detroit's residential areas generally developed at a much lower density than those of Chicago, Cleveland and Buffalo.
 
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#57
There's a city that is fairly close to you that has a similar history; relatively small before WWI, explosive development in the 1920s with bungalows on small-but-not-that-small lots, and in interconnected street grid. From 1910 until the 1950s, the region that city was in had a growth rate that mirrored that of Los Angeles.

I'm talking about Detroit. I'm not kidding. A lot of 1920s Detroit is now urban prairie, but you can see evidence of the Los Angeles-like development pattern in neighborhoods that escaped the blight. Detroit's residential areas generally developed at a much lower density than those of Chicago, Cleveland and Buffalo.
My bungalow is on a 4,000 sq ft lot, as are most of the homes in my neighborhood. About ten percent of the housing are two family homes. Detroit does have fewer apartments than most large Cities, and it has a ton of industrial areas. People moving to Detroit from the 1930's to 1960's were virtually gauanteed enough income to afford a home so that is the pattern that developed. As the jobs dried up or the well paid jobs moved overseas the impact has been devastating.
 

nec209

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#58
Are you sure? I see sprawl all over the place. Take a look at these images form the northeast US and Canada:
Not urban sprawl but suburb sprawl .Cities in Canada had little to no urban sprawl.


Urban sprawl
http://www.flickr.com/photos/38175961@N07/3512769036/sizes/o/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/38175961@N07/3512729046/sizes/o/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/38175961@N07/3512727342/sizes/o/
http://photos.metrojacksonville.com/photos/574472848_oaakB-M.jpg
http://www.flickr.com/photos/38175961@N07/3511727490/sizes/o/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/38175961@N07/3511727466/sizes/o/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/38175961@N07/3510920101/sizes/o/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/38175961@N07/3510924845/sizes/o/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/38175961@N07/3510924847/sizes/o/




suburb ( housing subdivtions )
http://pricetags.files.wordpress.com/2008/05/sacamento-suburb.jpg
http://libn.com/files/2008/12/12levittownca01.jpg
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3599/3523641211_79dcda11a5.jpg
http://www.flickr.com/photos/38175961@N07/3510924853/sizes/o/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/38196122@N06/3512814730/sizes/o/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/38196122@N06/3512814732/sizes/o/

suburb Insutreal park
http://www.flickr.com/photos/38175961@N07/3511957943/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/38175961@N07/3511957941/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/38196122@N06/3512800448/sizes/o/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/38196122@N06/3512800446/sizes/o/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/38196122@N06/3512799228/sizes/o/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/38196122@N06/3511990731/sizes/o/
 

nec209

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#59
Modest bungalows, small (5,000-7,000 square foot) but not tiny lots, interconnected street grid; it's not unique to LA.

Looks like typical 1920s-era streetcar suburb development, which the LA area had quite a bit of thanks to the Pacific Electric system. Also, the Los Angeles area absolutely exploded during the 1920s; it's really the decade when it came onto its own as a major American city. Before WWI, it was essentially an outpost at the far western fringe of the country; a small city surrounded by hundreds of square miles of orange groves.

There's a city that is fairly close to you that has a similar history; relatively small before WWI, explosive development in the 1920s with bungalows on small-but-not-that-small lots, and in interconnected street grid. From 1910 until the 1950s, the region that city was in had a growth rate that mirrored that of Los Angeles.

I'm talking about Detroit. I'm not kidding. A lot of 1920s Detroit is now urban prairie, but you can see evidence of the Los Angeles-like development pattern in neighborhoods that escaped the blight. Detroit's residential areas generally developed at a much lower density than those of Chicago, Cleveland and Buffalo.

There was show on history Channel on LA called the citiy of of the underworld of old subway and streetcar lines underground not being used.

I think Toronto had much higher land value and so that why Toronto did not not build like LA.Well Winnipeg a small city in Canada population 630,000 people is the closest you going get to looking like LA .Well Toronto just looks more dense and more European looking.

The sun belt cities seem to be more into bungalows homes and homes with no basment also 1 story storefront. Well the North ,North east US and Canada and very much so Toronto it is living above a store , townhouse , roomates ,basement tenets , 15 to 20 story apartments.

We really don't have small homes or trailer parks in Toronto .What we have is people living above a store. And roomates ,basement tenets ,townhouse and 15 to 20 story apartments.

Toronto was really not into bungalows at all.Only in the 50's , 60's and 70's Toronto built alot of bungalows and semi- house do to high up demad after ww2 for homes. In the 80's and 90's homes got very big and 2 car garage But before the 50's seem to be that victorian look here is some homes..

Here is what you see in Toronto old section before 50's in Toronto.The victorian homes and buildings before 50's.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/38196122@N06/3511990729/sizes/o/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/38196122@N06/3511990723/sizes/o/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/38196122@N06/3512805680/sizes/o/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/38196122@N06/3512805684/sizes/o/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/38196122@N06/3511996429/sizes/o/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/38196122@N06/3511996439/sizes/o/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/ettml/2083977211/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/liquidindimension/3706923007/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/18378305@N00/3227235338/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/commonwealth_brick/3447094751/
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3024/2747587872_4bc27ca592.jpg
http://victorianjack.com/wp-content/themes/thesis/rotator/victorian-house-start.jpg
http://www.treehugger.com/victorian-row.jpg
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3010/3020888157_65c08db82c.jpg
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3572/3779514757_f880fd87c4_o.jpg
http://www.flickr.com/photos/jfitzg/3359036141/
http://farm1.static.flickr.com/157/329586444_cee56f3fb9.jpg?v=0
http://www.flickr.com/photos/soho_lass/2287314052/
http://farm1.static.flickr.com/140/327647027_7c1981b376.jpg?v=0
http://www.flickr.com/photos/29527600@N02/3426652761/
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/9b/Toronto_Row_Houses.jpg
http://www.flickr.com/photos/mathias_rousseau/242801183/
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3244/2960750570_3b89d77ae2_m.jpg
http://farm1.static.flickr.com/76/172239889_7ba0ba9909_m.jpg
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2442/3808675045_455d3d7134_m.jpg
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2454/3808673149_f9509c6ca8_m.jpg
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3451/3809491104_b1d0659064_m.jpg
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2451/3809491872_dce6b5fe27_m.jpg
http://www.flickr.com/photos/caro11ne/390308397/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/77862908@N00/259575898/
http://www.hgtv.ca/BLOG/photos/stylesheet/images/89550/original.aspx
http://www.flickr.com/photos/artonice/3454654127/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/27677258@N00/252832789/in/set-72157594314667927/
http://www.tysonwilliams.com/2009/07/29/07290902.jpg
http://www.flickr.com/photos/27677258@N00/252834204/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/27677258@N00/252832790/in/set-72157594314667927/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/27677258@N00/252832787/in/set-72157594314667927/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/27677258@N00/252832786/in/set-72157594314667927/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/27677258@N00/252832785/in/set-72157594314667927/


They took on those victorian houses and buildings. Toronto is very much into these victorian houses and buildings .Well LA did not take on this look.
 

wahday

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#60
Not urban sprawl but suburb sprawl .Cities in Canada had little to no urban sprawl.
I guess I am not clear on what the differences are in your definitions of urban versus suburban sprawl. To me, they are not so distinct. "Sprawl" in an urban setting (that is, development that is contiguous with previous phases of development) to me is the use of suburban development patterns that make inefficient use of land in an urban context. These settings also tend to separate dramatically retail/commercial areas from vast housing areas and emphasize automotive transport as the main mode of transit.

Again, to me, "sprawl" in a suburban setting is similar to the above only that it is often developed on land that is not contiguous with the urban core and is economically dependent on that core (as a job center, for example). This distinguishes it from a "town" that may also develop outside of the metro core, but is its own municipality and generally has the other trappings (job base, shopping, etc.) that make it its own "place."

Both of these dynamics employ the same type of land use patterns and so are not different other than the nature of their location. In Albuquerque, for example, much of what is today the Northeast Heights was, at the time of its development, the suburbs. But now the City has grown and it is now part of the urban fabric both literally and politically (the land has been annexed as part of the City). So, what began here as suburban sprawl would today be urban sprawl, but that's only because its now part of the city.

I am not convinced that Canadian cities are not also struggling with sprawl (urban or suburban) but maybe I am misunderstanding your assertion. I did find this article on sprawl in Canada which is interesting: http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/executive/archive/2009/10/12/337404.aspx
Urban sprawl in Canada is becoming a serious problem. Cities across Canada continue to expand their urban footprint and property taxes are rising above and beyond inflation - there seems to be a direct correlation between these two and there seems to be no end to this trend.

...

Urban sprawl has become a significant issue in most major Canadian cities and is likely a major cause for our city tax hikes. When a city sprawls, the city's got to pay for infrastructure to service these remote areas including sewers, roads, transit, garbage collection etc. So which cities are doing a better job of controlling sprawl?
I think it is worth considering that many of the housing developers that have perfected the sprawl method of building operate in many different states and geographic areas of the US and Canada. I think its hard to say that one part of the country does not have these problems while others do when these developers are operating in and often apply the same model of development across many settings.

I think we can say that because a particular city experienced much of its growth at a particular time that the growth patterns may be more or less defined by sprawl patterns, though. We can also consider the degree to which land use controls have impacted that growth. Indeed, that accounts for much of the American West looking the way it does (including exceptions like Portland, OR which uses an Urban Growth Boundary to curtail sprawl). But having grown up in and around Philadelphia, I can tell you that I see the same type of sprawl there as I do here in New Mexico. The architecture is different, but the way land is divided, developed, etc. is the same. Many times, the developers are the same, too. So, I don't agree that we don't see those patterns in the northeastern US, for example.

Cities are constantly in a state of transition and as long as a place is still growing, in this day and age, sprawl will be an issue that requires control no matter where you are. In my opinion.

Arbor Lake, Calgary: http://www.rapingmothernature.com/wp-content/gallery/american-sprawl/800px-arbor_lake-aerial.jpg
 
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