The Curse of Urban Sprawl

In recent years, much has been said in America about the phenomenon of urban sprawl, the expansion of cities and their suburban regions into areas that were formerly rural or natural, crowding out wildlife. If it were a matter of population growth in the cities, this would be happening at a much slower rate, since the population of the United States has been increasing at “only” a few percent each year, yet the cities seem to be EXPLODING, almost like squid stretching out their tentacles to grab more and more land until, in some areas, giant cities are starting to blend into one another and there is little or no natural land between them. WHY?   Here’s a fictional story to illustrate why:

Many of the people of Giant City were getting fed up with the pollution, the heavy traffic, the crime rate and the corruption there, as well as the feeling they were little more than sardines in a can. Desperate for relief, many of them took frequent vacations to the Country, where they felt at peace, but only for a short time. Eventually, some of the residents of Giant City decided to move to the Country permanently. In doing so, they built Small Town. With natural beauty, many wild animals, and fresh air and water, the people were happy….for a while.
But later, the new residents of Small Town began to miss some of the conviences of life in Giant City such as shopping malls, movie theaters, and fancy restaurants. They would go to Giant City for such things, but after a year or two they grew tired of having to go so far back and forth. Then the mayor of Small Town had an idea: “I will being revenue to Small Town by having new businesses establish themselves here!”
So a tiny shopping mall was built, with a few business moving into it, and it DID bring much money into the coffers of Small Town. Over many years, the mall grew, adding a small movie theater and several restaurants. More and more people moved from Giant City to Small Town, and more and more businesses came to establish themselves and compete with businesses already there.
After about 50 years, the council of Small Town voted to build a highway network in and around their land to make the movement of traffic easier and increase still further the flow of business in the town. Only by the time they were done, Small Town was no longer small. It had grown into Big Suburb, with air and water pollution now rampant there and with the wildlife disappearing. The older residents who remembered Small Town lamented the loss of the peaceful, quiet life they had known, but the younger ones didn’t care. They were just obsessed with the latest fashions, trends, and junk, which the businesses moving into Big Suburb were all too happy to provide. Instead of the people escaping from Giant City, they had merely recreated it in a different place!
Of course, there is a moral to this story: IF YOU WISH TO LEAVE THE CITY AND ENJOY THE BEAUTY OF COUNTRY LIFE, FORSAKE EVERYTHING ASSOCIATED WITH THE CITY! AS LONG AS YOU ARE TIED TO URBAN LIFE, YOU CAN’T JUST MOVE INTO THE COUNTRY AND EXPECT IT NOT TO CHANGE! EITHER LEARN TO LIVE OFF THE LAND LIKE A FARMER OR A CAVE MAN WOULD, OR STAY IN THE GIANT CITIES WHERE YOU BELONG! NO MATTER WHERE YOU LIVE, YOU SIMPLY CAN’T HAVE IT ALL!!!

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