Florida's Vanishing Spaces (Executive Summary)

Florida Sprawl Study

The Florida of orchards, grasslands, marshes, pine scrub and open beaches continues to disappear at a rapid rate under the bulldozer’s blade of constant new development. How much of that is related to consumption and development patterns and how much of it is related to the increase in the number of Florida residents is the focus of this study.


Sprawl in Florida



Florida's phenomenal population growth has been the No. 1 factor in the state's urban sprawl, according to the results of this study released during Florida OverPopulation Awareness Week (October 29 - November 4, 2000). In fact, in most Urbanized Areas of Florida, the amount of land per resident did not grow at all, indicating that growth in percapita consumption was not a factor in any of the sprawl in those cities.


Population Growth and Sprawl in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed

Does a growing population contribute to urban sprawl? The relationship between population growth and sprawl appears obvious to some but is denied or minimized by just as many. What has been lacking is a systematic, comprehensive, consistent means of quantifying the role of population growth in sprawl in recent decades. A national study by NumbersUSA, “Weighing Sprawl Factors in Large U.S. Cities” does just that.


Weighing Sprawl Factors in Large U.S. Cities

Over a 20-year period, the 100 largest Urbanized Areas examined in this study sprawled out over an additional 14,545 square miles. That was more than 9 million acres of natural habitats, farmland and other rural space that were covered over by the asphalt, buildings and sub-divisions of suburbia. And that was just for the half of Americans who live in those 100 cities.


Outsmarting Smart Growth: Population Growth, Immigration, and the Problem of Sprawl

To date, almost all efforts to combat sprawl have focused on “Smart Growth” strategies, which primarily seek to create denser settlement by changing land use practices. Our findings indicate this approach will have limited success in saving rural land from development because it fails to address a key reason for sprawl — population growth.