How to Reduce Urbanization

Urbanization is prevalent and difficult to decrease.

Urbanization is associated with an increase in traffic, pollution, destruction of agricultural land and parks, and overcrowding. Millions of dollars are spent on sanitation, sewer systems, fire, police and schools. Governments have less revenue to spend on the basic upkeep, so there is less to spend on maintenance, security and housing, resulting in an increase of poverty and crime. Consequently, decreasing urbanization in the long run has numerous benefits to the community.

Preserve land. Parks and open space can be protected from development with the enactment of urban growth boundaries. These growth boundaries draw a line separating the city from the countryside and save tax dollars. Oregon and Washington are two examples of states that require urban growth boundaries.

Revitalize developed areas. Attract new businesses, improve existing schools and reduce crime. In the long run, revitalizing existing properties and systems saves tax dollars and avoids problems associated with new development such as overcrowding and increased need for security, transportation and schools.

Provide affordable housing in the suburbs. People move to or remain in the city for the affordable housing. The rural areas do not have as many renting opportunities for low-income tenants. Duplex or single family homes are usually inaccessible to renters with low income and poor credit.

Invest in public transportation. People move to the city because they can't afford a car. Increased public transportation in the suburbs would provide easier mobility, more job availability, improved economy and less emissions.

Elizabeth Brown holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Connecticut and a Master of Arts in education from Saint Joseph College in West Hartford, Connecticut. She began writing professionally in 2004 and has published op-eds and letters in the Hartford Courant and other local journals. She is currently a Hartford Public Schools Examiner.