Saturday, January 16, 2016

Cost of Sprawl in US, one trillion per year

More sprawling, disconnected urban development increases urban infrastructure investment requirements as infrastructure and public service provision needs to be extended into peripheral areas, leading to a significant reduction in available resources for core infrastructure, basic services and public transport. For example, in the United States, a study for NCE estimated that urban sprawl costs the US economy over US$1 trillion per annum, greater than 5% of GDP in 2014. This includes over US$100 billion in public costs relating to increased infrastructure and service delivery, and over US$600 billion in private costs relating to private vehicle use, with the remaining US$300 billion related to the costs of air pollution, congestion and traffic accidents (see Figure 2). If the United States followed an alternative growth pattern without urban sprawl, the savings could cover the country’s entire funding gap in infrastructure investment.

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