WIT Press

Can We Plan To Protect Our Environment? Spreading Urbanization In The State Of Louisiana

Price

Free (open access)

Paper DOI

10.2495/SPD050441

Volume

84

Pages

11

Published

2005

Size

1,033 kb

Author(s)

I. Maret & H. Blakeman

Abstract

Accused of being the dark side of the American Dream, sprawl illustrates how spreading urbanization can be costly for our environment, our society and our future. In most studies, sprawl is approached broadly and limited to the edge of large and fast-growing urban areas. Current analyses underestimate the extent of the development of new urban forms in previously rural areas relatively far from the urban core, especially in slow-growing urban regions. Sprawl is endemic to small towns as well as large cities, spurred largely by interstate and highway bypasses. This paper suggests that sprawl should be scrutinized as a complicated and diverse land use change. It explicates with GIS and remote sensing approaches the variety and complexity of urban sprawl regions in Louisiana, using population and land use data. This research focuses on the characteristics of new urban forms in the region of New Orleans, Louisiana (LA), looking particularly at St. Tammany Parish. This parish grew at a faster rate in the nineteen-nineties than any other parish in Louisiana. Most of the growth occurred in unplanned, uncoordinated clusters or in unincorporated areas outside of existing cities. This paper examines the consequences of sprawl on the environment, focusing on the link between types of urbanization and the loss of wetlands in St. Tammany Parish, LA, from 1982 to 2000. It then analyzes the diversity of smart growth policies needed to deal with these sprawling situations. Keywords: sprawl, sustainable planning, wetlands, urban growth, smart growth policies, Geographic Information Systems (GIS).

Keywords

sprawl, sustainable planning, wetlands, urban growth, smart growth policies, Geographic Information Systems (GIS).